Beyond the Classroom: Vermont History Video Project
Students in Professor and VT State Senator Bill Doyle's Vermont History and Government class learn about local history in a hands-on way that not only contributes to their education, but also to the community's knowledge about its past. The students and Professor Doyle, in collaboration with editor/producer Vince Franke of Peregrine Productions in Waterbury, produce a documentary about a specific county in Vermont as part of the semester's requirements.
The documentaries (there are four so far: "Life in Chittenden County"; "Life in Orleans County"; "Life in Lamoille County"; and "Life in Franklin County") blend interviews and images of local people in the first half of the 20th century. Hundreds of period photographs provide a fascinating visual record of life in the county being documented.
When completed, the video is screened at the college and then throughout the featured county. Free copies are provided to the county historical society, schools and libraries, adding to the local historical archives.
Students response to the project has been just as positive as the community response. Professor Doyle notes: "Students were enthusiastic about something that would provide a permanent history of the county, something that was bigger than themselves."