ERIC Number: ED467122
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Llano Grande Center's Oral History Project Sparks Cultural and Economic Renewal in Texas's Rio Grande Valley. Rural Trust Featured Project.
Null, Elizabeth Higgins
The Llano Grande Center for Research and Development started as an oral history experiment in two of Texas's poorest school districts. Since the 1920s, when this arid region in the southernmost tip of Texas was first transformed into the orchards and farmlands of the "Magic Valley," workers of Mexican descent have worked the land. Over time, agriculture has declined and unemployment has grown. The Llano Grande Center trained students to use oral history research methods to collect the autobiographical stories of their elders. Older residents now have a documented and honored place in the region's history, expressed in their own words. These have been recorded, transcribed, translated into English, and archived by students, and children at all grade levels have reworked them into fiction, artistic depictions, and even a television documentary. The histories are supplemented by photographs and videos shot by students. The project has revitalized the region's educational, cultural, civic, and economic life and transformed the Llano Grande Center into a regional intellectual and economic nerve-center for local Mexican-American communities. Interest in local folklore, dance, and art has been renewed, and additional grants have funded leadership training and community development. The center's "pedagogy of place" seminars have helped to improved morale, motivation, and methods in the school district, which has improved its performance on the state-wide Texas achievement tests. (TD)
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, High Risk Students, Intergenerational Programs, Local History, Mexican American Education, Oral History, Place Based Education, Program Descriptions, School Community Relationship, Student Motivation, Student Projects
For full text: http://www.ruraledu.org/project0400.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Texas