ICMA Project Connect

Get Connected! To History

Teens in the Santa Ana Public library were able to utilize the laptops and software that were purchased using ICMA grant funds to take part in several exciting history projects.  The National History Day project and the Santa Ana Oral History Project, were begun in 2009-2010, and will continue to be part of the Santa Ana History Room programming in the library.

National History Day

The National History Day competition is an annual event hosted by the Orange County Department of Education. This program gives high school students an opportunity to work either individually or in a small group on a selected historical topic. The competition emphasizes working with primary resources that could meaningfully contribute to the audiences understanding of the topic.

While most other cities in Orange County have had a presence in the completion for years, the Santa Ana School district has not sent a team in several. Our Santa Ana Library Team was the first time Santa Ana Students had competed in the program in 14 years.

We researched the life and innovations of local guitar manufacturer Leo Fender. Over the course of the program the students showed a dramatic improvement in their ability to understand and contextualize the primary resources that they compiled. They made a strong showing and formed a core group of students that are eager to compete in the next competition.

Fender History Day Slideshow

Santa Ana Oral History Project

The Santa Ana History Room is conducting the beginning phases of an ongoing oral history program meant to document and preserve the lives and experiences of its residents. Library staff and professional volunteers will work toward training equipment and mentoring a cohort of teenage volunteers to conduct oral history interviews. The program should last approximately 3 months. At the end of this program each student will have helped to produce an Oral History interview that will then be preserved and made available to the public via the Santa Ana History Room.

Additionally, it is the Librariesí goal to provide an opportunity for at risk youth to constructively engage in a civic project with older community members. By connecting young teens to older professional mentors and community elders, it is hoped that each demographic will begin to have an intergenerational dialogue that is often missing in cities like Santa Ana.

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Oral History Presentation

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