Connecting to your local community


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2008 AASLH presentation about how OHS connects to communities through local history outreach.

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Connecting to your local community

  1. 1. Outreach Services @ OHS • Partnerships (K-12 educational institutions, colleges & universities, local historical societies, museums, & archives) • Connecting people (individuals & groups, institutions, and resources) • Highlighting local history as a lens through which to view US history
  2. 2. “We’re local.” Kids & Community History The Near East Side Community History Project
  3. 3. Partners • Ohio Historical Society • Columbus Metropolitan Library – MLK Jr. Branch – Shepard Branch • Columbus Public Schools – East Pilgrim Elementary – Monroe Middle School
  4. 4. The Project • $11,000 grant from the Ingram- White Castle Foundation • Focus on the history of the Mt. Vernon Avenue area • Students conduct ten oral histories • Students conduct local history research • Use this work to write text for five historic markers
  5. 5. History of Mt. Vernon Avenue • Predominately African- American neighbor- hood in Columbus • Practically self- sufficient • Rich cultural heritage • Community physically cut-off after construction of interstate highway system Main Shopping Districts Map, 1954
  6. 6. Phase One: Research • Children’s Lit: A Street Called Home • Analyzing primary sources • Conducting research local history research
  7. 7. Phase Two: Interviews • Developing questions • Conducting interviews • 8th graders conduct interviews (in pairs) • 3rd graders conduct a group interview
  8. 8. Phase Three: Markers • Based on research and oral histories, 8th grade students pick 4 topics/locations for markers and write text • 3rd graders write text for marker about their school/education in Columbus
  9. 9. Student Reflections The [project] taught me [a lot]…I never knew that Mt. Vernon was so historic. Some of the buildings I saw in the…pictures were the buildings I go by every day on my way to school. Seeing their condition I had just brushed them off as old buildings that needed to be torn down, but now I realize that they need to be preserved. Sha’Dae Jones, 8th grader
  10. 10. Conclusion • Transfer oral history interviews to DVD – Copies deposited at the public libraries and both school libraries • Marker dedication ceremony • Unveil walking tour
  11. 11. “That happened here?” Connecting School & Community
  12. 12. Congressional Academy • Grant from U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement • “It’s time to put the teaching of American History and civics back in its rightful place in our schools so that our children can grow up learning what it means to be an American.” Senator Lamar Alexander
  13. 13. Developing and Engaging Democracy • Focus on American History and Civics • Development of the democratic model • Key events, documents, people, and ideas • Access to elected officials
  14. 14. The Audience • Marketed to high school History educators • Sixteen teacher/student teams attend
  15. 15. The Partners • Ohio Historical Society • Ohio University • Marietta College • The State Archives of Ohio • Ohio Judicial Center • The Ross County Historical Society • The Perry-Hocking Educational Service Center
  16. 16. Residential Field School • Interaction with Faculty • Content sessions • Community resources • Hands-on activities with historians, archivists, and curators • Doing history!
  17. 17. Service Learning Project Teacher/Student Teams develop a History/Civics project • Visible and lasting contribution to their community • Connect local and state history with national themes • Leadership and management skills • Foster partnerships
  18. 18. Service Learning Project Example: • Develop a research-based “constitutional” walking tour through Chillicothe, Ohio. • The tour could highlight significant individuals, events, documents, and places. • The tour could be anchored by State Historic Markers. • List site on the National Register.
  19. 19. Conclusion • Married technology, especially Web 2.0, with traditional research • Projects are ongoing • Collaboration within communities • Some failure • Large community turnout • Projects mirrored community socio-economic level & available resources • Constant contact + little oversight = great projects!