Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.

Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Interview day a success ! 

Marking our 11th Year of Oral History Interviews 

Interview day was long anticipated, and when March 23 finally arrived, spirits were high.  Students and mentors alike were excited for the interviews.  The venue for the interviews, as in past years, was the Hotel Floyd. Their generous donation of space and time was greatly appreciated and vital to the success of our interviews. The set-stagers and mentors worked together to create the perfect background for the interviews. A big map of Floyd County as a centerpiece, served well to remind us of our Roots.

Each student had their job in preparing for the interviews and throughout the process of conducting them. It was exciting to see the high school students take responsibility for their jobs and strive to do them well. It was a learning process as always but mistakes truly serve to make us better. We overcame a few glitches and made the best out of them in true Roots with Wings fashion. We are constantly testing and putting into practice our technological Wings

It was such an honor to hear the stories of the interviewees. Everyone was a student on interview day, learning of the past and particular experiences of the interviewees. 

A small preview of our project will reveal that we had some different questions about community and neighborhood. We were curious to know what the interviewees thought about these ideas and how they have experienced them personally throughout their lives. 

We also made sure to ask the interviewees what advice they would give to young people these days and their answers were varied, wise, funny and practical.   Now that we have gotten the interviews under our belts, the careful work of transcribing and archiving is about to begin!

A big thank you goes out to the interviewees: Dale Belcher, Frank Hancock, Frances Poff and Sherrell Poff, we truly could not have done it without you! Also, thank you to The Hotel Floyd for the space, and The Old Church Gallery and Floyd County High School for the equipment!

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