Students at Scott City to record war stories

Friday, March 15, 2002

Starting next week, students at Scott City Middle School will get a new kind of history lesson -- a living one.

Students in sixth through eighth grade will videotape local military veterans as they share their stories of war and then use the tapes for research projects and on special days, like history day.

Seventh-grader Daniel Schuenemeyer said he wanted to get involved with the project because his late great-grandfather was in the military during World War I and Daniel loved to hear his stories.

"This seemed like an interesting project and something that could benefit many people down the line," he said.

Susie Coomer, a teacher at the school, came up with the idea for the living history program while searching the Internet last fall.

"We did our first Veterans Day assembly in November," she said. "I got on the Web and was looking for ideas when I came across the National Archives site. It was asking for people to do interviews with veterans and find out their stories."

Tapes available

Coomer said copies of the tape of the interviews will be kept in the school library and the regional library in Scott City. A brief description of each interview will be sent to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., so people all over the world can have access to them. "If someone is doing research and would like a copy of one of our interviews we could mail them a VHS tape or e-mail a copy of the interview," she said.

The interviews will be taped with a digital camera so they can also be put onto compact dics.

Cassie Dillow, an eighth-grader at the school, said she likes the possibility that someone across the country could see an interview she helped put together.

"I think it would be really neat to know that people are interested in this," she said.

Coomer said the school is still looking for veterans to participate in the program.

"We received a grant for 50 tapes from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but the Kiwanis Club in town has said they will donate more to us in the future," Coomer said. "Even though the grant expires in June, we hope this will be an ongoing project for our school. Some veterans will be coming back from the war on terrorism and we'll want to get their stories down too."

Taping will begin Tuesday at the school. To find out how to get involved with the project, contact Coomer or her co-chair, Vickie Wachter, at 264-2139.

335-6611, extension 128

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