Student Oral History Projects from VOW’s Germanacos Fellows

student oral history projects

For the past five years, the Germanacos Fellowship for Sharing History has allowed Voice of Witness to provide support for outstanding Sharing History Initiative participants and other educators to explore in-depth oral history projects with their students and communities.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, our current and former Fellows have remained committed to their students and bringing them engaging programming through distance learning. We are proud of their creativity, dedication, and support for their students, and we’re excited to share two projects that have come out of this difficult time.

Edendale Middle School in San Lorenzo, CA:
Student Oral History Project

At Edendale Middle School in San Lorenzo, California, teacher Tina Eng worked with students in the Emergent Bilinguals and Newcomers classes to document the experiences of their diverse communities during this pandemic. Students were able to practice communication skills, critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking, using their native languages alongside their English learning. The students created their own interview questions, recorded their conversations and transcribed quotes, then took or selected photos that best represented their narrators.

Tina then compiled these student oral history projects in an amazing digital book series. Browse through the stories and listen to the student audio clips below!

Impact Academy of Art and Technology in Hayward, CA:

At Impact Academy of Art and Technology in Hayward, CA, teacher Maria Kaimana worked with her students to turn interviews about the pandemic into creative nonfiction pieces. Students learned from classic literary examples, practiced honing their own writing skills, then went to work crafting interview questions and capturing their community’s experiences into powerful nonfiction narratives. 11th graders from across the school submitted stories for this project, which has now been made public on a website designed by students.

As their tagline says: “We are creative writers. We are students. We are musicians. We are artists. We are storytellers. We are the class of 2022.” Check out their website!

Learn more about VOW’s Sharing History Initiative and Germanacos Fellowship.

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