A new appreciation for history

History class may seem so bland when we’re just getting the facts about a history event.  But what if we could ask someone about a historical event and how it affected him or her?  What if we could feel what someone else felt during the attack on Pearl Harbor, or maybe even the Great Depression? The Castro Valley Education Foundation wants to give students that experience and the chance to get published in a book.
The Castro Valley Education Foundation started in 1981.  Its mission is to provide educational activities, give grants to teachers, award scholarships to college-bound Castro Valley students and encourage academic excellence to Castro Valley students. The CVEF has developed many activities for the students in Castro Valley, and the newest activity is interviewing Castro Valley residents who have lived through historical events.

“I have been surprised by the number of people here who were present at major historical events,” said Gary Howard, a member of the CVEF. “For example, I am aware of two people who were at the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 and two Japanese-Americans who were interned. I suspect there are many other people who were part of the civil rights movement, the farm workers’ movement, the space program, Vietnam or other events.”

The activity is open to any CVHS student.  More information about the activity can be found by talking to teacher Matt Johanson in room 113.  Johanson will set students up with an interviewee and help students choose a historical event that they will be interviewing them about.

After that, students will familiarize themselves with the event that they’re interviewing them about so that students can come up with good questions.  Then students will conduct interviews and write overviews of them.

Participating in this activity will give students the chance to learn about someone that they know and to find a new appreciation for a historical event.  Also, contributing to the book will be something that students can reference on college applications.

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