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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Showtime at the high school mini-theater -


Angela Myers, Digital Video and Media teacher, introduces the program.
 The high school class presented their final films on May 27th.  The interviewees and their families watched eight short movies with delight--laughter filled the room at times, while at other times the sentiment of history could clearly be felt.

Pictured at right:  Mary Lou and Al Kelley, Marvin Nolen, and McCrey and Joyce Shortt during the film viewing. 

The WWII era interviewees will later receive the project results from a full semester's work-- audio recordings, video films, photographs, and a full typed transcript--bound into a formal presentation packet.   All of the recorded history will be archived at the Old Church Gallery for the benefit of the community.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Seems like Pink Artifacts was just yesterday!


RU students spent their final class time at Floyd County High School this week. We focused on helping FCHS students begin editing their film.  Last week content logs with keywords from the interviews were completed.  As I've repeated, this makes retrieving footage easier during editing.  Storyboards are polished and students now have about two weeks in the editing studio to create.  We can't wait to see what they see!

Mentor Kimberly helps Noah and Daniel with iMovie editing techniques.

Let's reflect for a moment on the mission of this project:  increase resiliency and a strong inter-generational self in students, creating a "web of meaningful relationships" (Roots) using modern technology (Wings).  

I think the most important aspect for everyone involved is the interaction we have with each other: talking about film making; helping with a technology technique; managing a conflict; sharing a laugh about a funny moment; listening to stories about experiences long ago; or giving a two-handed handshake.  Technology gives our interactions a wider platform, but cannot replace real-time human connection.

Kathleen Ingoldsby assists Jason and Cody with their film introduction sequence.

Now we'd like to share recognition of some participating students.  On April 29 the RU Department of Sociology honored Roots with Wings participants who are Sociology majors.  Congratulations to Lauren B., Bianca D., Haley F., Madison H., Kurt K., Kimberly P., Blake S., and Ellisse T. upon receiving the SERVICE TO COMMUNITY award.  

At that same ceremony, Bianca D. received the MOST PROMISING THIRD YEAR SOCIOLOGY MAJOR award and Ellisse T. received the EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH ASSISTANCE award.  On May 8, Taylor L. will be recognized as the OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR in Appalachian Studies during the College of Education and Human Development Awards Celebration.

Lots of celebrating to do!  Including a celebration get-together for the premiere of FCHS students' films.  Stay tuned for an update of when/where details (sometime near the end of May).

It has been a pleasure to share this semester's Roots with Wings journey with you.  We hope that your summer will be full of sun and stories.

Roots with Wings participants, Spring 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

You're All Invited!


Please accept an invitation to attend Radford University's annual spring Student Engagement Forum. Take a look at the work behind the scenes as RU students in the current spring class (led by Dr. Melinda Wagner) present their progress related to the "Roots with Wings" place-based education project and community building through partnerships of Floyd County High School, the Old Church Gallery, and Radford University (Wednesday, April 22, 3:20-3:50PM).  

Just prior to this presentation (3PM), students from last fall's related class (led by Dr. Theresa Burriss) present their work on creating supplemental teaching materials for "Roots with Wings" high school participants.

Detailed information including times and locations can be accessed HERE

Now, what did we do in class today?  Also, why such a fast turnaround post this week?  There will be no time next week!

FCHS students continue to transcribe the interview audio files which are then vetted by RU students and sent back for corrections.  This is tedious work (judging by some facial expressions), however I'd like to reiterate its importance.  

For others to enjoy recorded oral history they must be able to find it.  Transcribing, cataloging, and brief [but descriptive] file labeling are key elements. This includes cataloging all supplemental items brought in by families (which are scanned or photographed for the community archives).

Once transcription is complete, FCHS students dive into the creative process with the fun  part:  making a film!

FCHS students transcribing and proofreading their own work.  A few thought they'd done it absolutely perfectly, but...

...RU students note transcription errors for FCHS students to pay closer attention to when Q-C'ing each others' work.

High school and college students pour over transcriptions, making sure the archives process is done correctly. 

Have a great weekend, and see you next week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Focus, Theme Team, Focus


Remember at the beginning of spring semester when we talked about theme and story?  Well we are at that stage now!  Last week RU mentors led their film crews in a focus group session to begin weaving together a story from the footage shot on Interview Day.  

FCHS and RU students gathered around computers to playback footage and audio of interviewees in order to brainstorm a theme and construct a story.

Each four-person crew will further divide into a two-person editing crew -- so that each interviewee will receive two films (two new and different perspectives of their lives).  During focus groups, with lots of probing questions from the RU mentors, each team produced a preliminary theme statement and discussed possible ways to illustrate that statement.

This focus group created their own little sound booth to better review footage and discuss theme.

The RU students' semester is quickly drawing to a close (sooner than the FCHS semester.  Stay tuned for the final fun days and word of our film celebration in May, gathering everyone together for the students' film debuts.