Witness to War: Serving a Nation Oral History Project

BY Michael McNamara, Lisa Orlandella & Paul Aboltin

Nauset Regional High School

Project Description

The goal of this grant is to help continue the Witness to War: Serving a Nation oral history project at Nauset Regional High School.  This project, now in its second decade, is committed to collecting, preserving, and making accessible the stories of US veterans now living on Cape Cod.

Created by 9th grade Civics and Government students, this collection of oral history is dedicated to all brave men and women who served our nation as members of its armed forces.

It is our hope that these stories will inspire others, as they have inspired us, with real-life examples of service and sacrifice.  We also hope these stories will encourage future generations to explore the human costs of war, with the goal perhaps, of someday preventing it.

Link to our Online Oral History site

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)?

As a public service, all stories and artifacts are carefully and thoughtfully included in an online repository modeled after the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  Students begin work on this multi-faceted project in November and conclude in March.

Project Graphic Organizer with grading rubrics

Benefit to the students and the school

The benefits of this inter-generational project extend far beyond the classroom.  The skills needed to complete this months-long project include collaboration, research, interviewing, organization, meeting deadlines, transcription, writing, technology (video recording, editing, webpage design), oral presentation, self-reflection, and letter writing.

I can’t even begin to describe the impact the project has on students.  So, here are excerpts from last year’s student reflections.

Student Reflections 2017-2018

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The project begins in November of each year (to coincide with Veterans Day), and concludes in Mid-March.  If awarded this grant, we hope the purchases will support the continuation and expansion of the Witness to War: Serving a Nation project.  Because this is an annual project, it is our hope that purchases made through this grant will benefit Nauset students for years to come.