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The Arts

Putney students present their films on immigration at Next Stage

PUTNEY—“Putney Immigrant Stories,” short films made by Putney Central School eighth-graders about individuals in their community who came to the U.S. from other countries, will be shown at Next Stage Arts Project, 15 Kimball Hill, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m.

According to a news release, each student was paired with, interviewed, and photographed an individual in the local community who was born outside the U.S. Countries of origin of the community members include Afghanistan, Mexico, Japan, the Netherlands, Ghana, and Jordan.

Students asked their community partners about their memories of childhood, their experience coming to the U.S., and their lives now. Each student produced a short video portrait of this individual.

As part of their “Putney Immigrant Stories” curriculum, students in teacher Leah Toffolon’s eighth-grade social studies class at Putney Central School partnered with the Vermont Folklife Center’s Education program to learn the fundamentals of ethnographic research, interviewing techniques, and media production.

The Vermont Folklife Center’s “Discovering Community” Education program encourages students to learn to be “storytellers”; to explore and capture stories in their communities by doing primary source research; to listen to others’ stories, thereby building empathy and compassion; and to come to see themselves as part of a wider, interwoven community.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #492 (Wednesday, January 9, 2019). This story appeared on page B3.

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