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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 



Amazing Kids! of the Month for November, 2003: 
Amazing Young Oral Historian, West Boca, Florida!


Amazing 13 year old Ben Meyers interviews a woman from the
Mae Volen Senior Center in Boca Raton, Florida


Quotes of the Month: 


"Every life is important, is historic, and should be remembered."

Ben Meyers, age 13
Amazing young
oral historian,
Eagles Landing Middle School, West Boca, Florida


"Ben reminds me of another historian/archivist-Steven Spielberg and his Shoah Project.  Keep it up, Ben!"

Sharon Hershow,
Woodland Hills, California


Amazing Kids! is pleased to announce our November's Amazing Kids! of the Month!, an eighth grader from West Boca, Florida who not only respects and appreciates the elderly people in his community, he is honoring their lives by interviewing them for a special oral history project he is doing.

Read about this amazing young oral historian and who knows?  You may be inspired to start interviewing the senior citizens who live in your community and create your own oral history project too! 

And don't forget, if you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it!  Teachers are invited to nominate their entire classroom and the amazing projects they are working on too!  Simply complete a nomination form for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us! 


Table of Contents 

Amazing Ben, the 13-Year-Old Oral Historian
Related Links



Amazing Ben, the 13-Year-Old Oral Historian

Amazing Ben Meyers is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton, Florida. He has always been fascinated by history - reading and researching it is his passion. Because Ben has a large extended family, he has been fortunate enough to know six of his eight great-grandparents, three of whom are still living and with whom he is very close. In talking with them over the years, he began to develop a series of interview-type questions for them relating to the subjects that he was studying at the time. This ultimately developed into a list of 87 interview questions.

Given his love of history and the impact of his relationships with his great-grandparents, Ben decided to conduct interviews of elderly people in his community and create "oral histories." He called his project the "Treasury of Lives."

With some research, Ben discovered the Mae Volen Senior Center in Boca Raton, Florida. After contacting them and submitting a plan of what he hoped to do, the head of Mae Volen eagerly welcomed Ben and his project. Little did Ben know, Mae Volen had set as a goal to create an inter-generational program and Ben's Treasury of Lives fit right in! There was a little concern at the beginning that the folks at the center might not be too eager to be interviewed, but amazing Ben's warm smile and engaging manner won them over, and he has had a steady stream of volunteers ever since. In fact, after just a few minutes with Ben, even the shyest participants talk away as fast as he can write down their answers.

Ben types up his notes from the interviews and produces two copies. One is kept at the Mae Volen Senior Center library. The other is sent to the families of the people interviewed. Many of the families live far away, and these "oral histories" provide a lot of information about their loved ones that many did not know and may have never known.

It has been an educational and truly wonderful experience for Ben. But that doesn't hold a candle to what it has meant to those people being interviewed. Ben spends every day that he doesn't have school at Mae Volen. This year, he also started the Treasury of Lives club at his school. He plans to expand the project to include many students who can spread out and conduct interviews at several senior centers in his community. Ben thought he knew history before he began this project. Now he knows it first hand through the lives of truly amazing people right in his hometown.


What's Next for Ben?

Ben was recently given a video camera and will now be taping his interviews!  Keep up the great work, Ben!  Maybe someday we'll see your work featured as a documentary on PBS!

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Related Links

Oral History Society:  www.oralhistory.org.uk 

Using Oral History - A Lesson from the American Memory project files, the Library of Congress:  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/oralhist/ohhome.html                            

PBS: The New Americans -- Teacher Guide -- Oral Histories:  www.pbs.org/newamericans/6.0/html/oralhistory.html

A Team Approach to Oral History: www.askeric.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual /Lessons/Social_Studies/History/HIS0013.html

 Oral History in the Classroom:  A seven-part series by Kathryn Walbertwww.learnnc.org/Index.nsf/doc/oh-intro0406

Note: The above Oral History links are featured in the 153rd Issue of EduHound Weekly, an excellent educational source for teachers (www.eduhound.com). To read the EduHound archives, go to: www.eduhound.com/eduhoundweeklyarchives.cfm

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!



Here's an idea you might want to try:

WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?

If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: info@amazing-kids.org

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