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Preserving Community/Cuentos del Varrio

November 15, 2010

This is an incredibly interesting oral history project used by the students at the Panther Achievement Center, an alternative educational program at Gadsden High School in Anthony, NM.

PAC is an alternative learning center for students who have had difficulty in attending traditional high school classes. These students’ difficulties range from disciplinary problems with school and law officials to employment conflicts with school attendance to parenthood.

“Preserving Community/Cuentos del Varrio” is an oral history project conducted by Drs. Daniel Villa (Language and Linguistics) and Jon Hunner (History) of New Mexico State University and Pauline Staski (Social Studies) and Jon Wall (English) at the Panther Achievement Center of Gadsden High School to record the heritage of southern New Mexico. The project teaches high school students how to interview the elders of their communities to capture the local history and language of the region and to empower the participants as they explore their ancestry and cultural background.

This site provides a wonderful, step-by-step “how to” for teachers/schools to create a similar project of their own, including: methodology, ways of teaching, designing an oral history project and much more.

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