Walter L. Parks Middle School students are currently participating in a Community History Project titled “Sankofa.” This is an educational collaboration between the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This creative project will train the Parks students on how to research, document, and record via digital/video camera the Pittsburgh community. Students through using the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture will locate newspaper articles and artifacts to be included in the final documentary piece. Through Parks students participating in the Sankofa project students will also be afforded with the opportunity to make generational connections through listening to the life stories and experiences of the Pittsburgh elders.
Parks students have been participating in biweekly workshop and training with Auburn Avenue Research Library program directors Morris Gardner and Amani Robinson. The two directors have aided the students with information on how to collect and research data, interviewing techniques, computer programming, and basic camera training. Additionally, Parks teacher Jocelyn Johnson has been assisting the students with journal writing, gathering artifacts and creating a family tree.
Through participating in this wonderful community research project, Parks students are able to make both personal and historical connections to the Pittsburgh community. Additionally, they are taking pride in learning about the Pittsburgh community through honing their technical and data skills thus, honoring and preserving the community historical history.
The final documentary project will be inclusive of a short video document that features individuals who reside in the Pittsburgh community sharing their community experience thought candid interviews and storytelling. Both Parks and the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture will host an early spring viewing of the video documentary for the community viewing.