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South Shore Memory Project, Local History Venture, Enters New Phase
March 2000

South Shore Memory Project enters phase II 
The South Shore Memory Project II has received funding from the South Shore Foundation. Allen C. Benson (left) is the director of the local history project and works as Director of Library Services at Arkansas State University Mountain Home. Here, Benson explains details of the Internet-based local history project to South Shore Foundation Trustees Dr. Ed Coulter (seated) and Jodie Jeffrey-Sanders. The grant of $9,400 will be used to organize historical material that has been gathered by students at Flippin High School, working with Flippin school faculty members Petra Pershall and Dianne Wade. The students have interviewed older residents of the community, recorded sounds and taken digital photographs to include on the South Shore Memory Project Web site and to create local archives. This marks the second year the university and schools have worked together on the project, with the support of the South Shore Foundation.

FLIPPIN, Ark. - The South Shore Foundation Board of Trustees has approved a $9,400 grant to advance the South Shore Memory Project into a new phase, South Shore Memory Project II. The project is a multimedia local history of the Flippin area in digital (computerized) format being developed by school and academic librarians, Flippin Public School teachers and students, citizens in the South Shore area, and private industry all working together.

Allen C. Benson, ASUMH director of library services, said the second phase of the project will organize the historical information gathered by Flippin students, such as sound clips, images, and text from interviews with older residents of the area. The grant allows Benson and Petra Pershall, Flippin High School media specialist, to create a database for all the information being gathered so it will be accessible to anyone using the Internet at their home, school, or at a public site. The archival CDs will be housed at Arkansas State University Mountain Home.

A major goal of the project, Benson said, is to enable Flippin students to work with the latest in telecommunications technology while preserving local history and the Ozarks' culture. The project reinforces research and writing skills among the students as they complete interviews with older residents of the area and prepare their interviews for publication on a Web site devoted to the South Shore Memory Project, www.ozarkhistory.com, which is being developed totally by the students. Students may also develop their skills in science, math, the arts, and social science as a part of the South Shore Memory Project in preparing exhibits on the Web site.

South Shore Memory Project II is scheduled to be completed in six months. Funding for the first phase in the amount of $24,827, came from the South Shore Foundation, then the Arkansas Department of Education provided a $95,000 grant to create a multimedia lab at the Flippin School for the South Shore Memory Project, which includes a server and eight development workstations.

The project is attracting attention in library circles. Benson recently traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., and made a presentation about the South Shore Memory Project before librarians and educators at the 13th Annual Pennsylvania Technology Conference. "Representatives from elementary school through universities were interested in how the project began and how it has evolved for the students in the Flippin Public School System," he said. An article describing the project is also scheduled to be published in April in the bimonthly journal of the Arkansas Library Association.

South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company at Flippin. The South Shore Foundation award grants to nonprofit agencies and communities to further the goals of educational advancement, environmental preservation, community betterment and economic development. NATCO President Dr. Steven G. Sanders also chairs the board of trustees of the foundation. For more information or to receive a grant application, call 870-453-3333

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