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Local teens video-interview community members

Monday, February 25th, 2013 | Posted by

Cloverdale residents are invited to come downtown to the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center at 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., this Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 to see and hear many of their friends and neighbors in a brand new way as they answer questions posed by Cloverdale High School students.

It’s all part of an oral history project organized by Listening for a Change, a Santa Rosa-based non-profit that helps to promote understanding and acceptance of human diversity through education, oral history, and the arts.

Vickey Scaramella is one of the Cloverdalians interviewed for the Listening for a Change project. (Courtesy photo)

Working cooperatively with teacher Wendy Connor  in the English Honors and English Learner classes, the organization trained a select group of Cloverdale High School students in oral history and active listening skills.

They underwent in-depth training sessions for a minimum of six hours. Panels of three to five then conducted each interview.

Students took an active and leading role in choosing interviewees, creating and organizing questions, conducting the interview, and making editorial decisions to create the final videos. Videos are in the process of being translated into Spanish or English with translations scrolling on the white half-screen next to the interviewee’s image.

The hour long interviews were recorded with professional video cameras provided by the Santa Rosa Community Media Center. A professional video editor then helped students distill significant insights from each interview into short five to fifteen minute videos.

Among those who have shared their stories are Fr. Thomas Devereaux, former priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, who recalls what first led him to the priesthood; Vickey Scaramella, a wife and mother of two young boys, who has been able to maintain a positive outlook while fighting an extremely rare form of cancer; and retired teacher and local artist, Beverly McChesney, who talks about some of the lessons she has learned from her ESL students.

According to Phyllis Rosenfield, Executive Director/President and a founder of Listening for a Change, the organization is also collaborating with the city council and the school district. Their goal is to raise enough money to purchase a free-standing touch-screen kiosk to share these video-taped stories at various locations around town.

To learn more about Listening for a Change, including how to sign up for their next training session, visit them online at www.listeningforachange.org or call 578-5420.

  • Vickey

    This is one of the reasons why I feel so blessed to live in this amazing little community of Cloverdale.

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Mary Jo Winter is our Cloverdale correspondent.
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