With the opening of the new Northside Elementary School, this has been an extremely exciting time for the Public History Team. We have developed workshops for the students that nearly all of our staff members have played a role in. We have worked with over 300 students at Northside Elementary School. We did Civil Rights in Chapel Hill workshops with five third grade classes. We led a Freedom Tour with four first grade classes where they heard directly from neighborhood leaders about the rich history and even learned a freedom song at St. Joseph’s Church.
Above: First graders marching on our freedom tour!
The second and fifth grade classes are now prepared to do oral histories after our Arts and Methods of Oral History Workshop. We have received glowing feedback from the teachers and students alike. When our staff members walk through the school, we have so many students giving us hugs and waving to us! The administration is already working with our Manager of Education and Research to schedule and improve these workshops for next year! We now have all this beautiful art work around the center from the students about what they learned. This has all been an incredible partnership.
We are working with a student at UNC who was inspired by our Civil Rights in Chapel Hill interviews and Witness to Rights exhibits to create several artistic response pieces. Her art will be featured along with the student art from the Northside Elementary students.
Two of our Bonner interns, Joe Dayaa and Daron Holman, have worked with our School of Information and Library Science Graduate Intern, Karl Germeck, to build out and make accessible the vast wealth of oral histories and other archive resources that we have at the university. Karl is working on developing a repository that would make sure the resources would be easily accessible to the community. Once this is created, the potential is incredible as our Bonners and other volunteers continue to edit our interviews, hand them back to community members for the final revisions and ensure that we continue more interviews to grow our history collections. We will continue the important work with these histories and sharing them so that everyone knows the incredible stories here!!!