Share your Westside School stories
Organizers of the "Tell Us Your Westside Story" campaign are offering to record oral histories about times spent at Madras Union High School, Madras Junior High and Westside Elementary.
Appointments are available on two Thursdays (April 22 and May 20) and two Saturdays (April 24 and May 22) at the Jefferson County Library Annex. Oral histories are by reservation only. Call 541-350-3106 to make an appointment.
"The Tell Us Your Westside Story campaign celebrates the iconic building on the south end of town that has served Jefferson County for more than 80 years," said Lori Gleichman, a consultant with The Bean Foundation. "Since 1938, thousands of students, teachers, staff, families and community members have created memories in these buildings still owned by the Jefferson County School District. We want to collect and document those memories in the form of oral histories, written stories or through memorabilia."
People have three ways to contribute. Use the online story form at www.westsidecampaign.com, download a paper form from the website, or pick one up at the Jefferson County Library; donate school memorabilia at the library; or schedule time to videotape an oral history.
The campaign is looking for stories about people and places, activities, experiences, and events at the high school, junior high and elementary schools. "Think in terms of 'my favorite teacher was … because …' or 'the time my friend and I …' or 'when the basketball team …,' "said Gleichman. "You don't have to have attended one of the schools; just participated in events or programs held in the buildings."
"We're already hearing from people about what a center of the community the school was," Gleichman said. "Generations have experienced education and events within its walls; generations of teachers, students and staff have had major impacts on the development of Jefferson County and the people who live and work here."
The campaign is also accepting memorabilia that is clean and in good condition, such as yearbooks, trophies, photographs, letters and letter jackets. Release forms are available online at www.westsidecampaign.com or can be picked up at the library. Items can be dropped off (with release forms attached) at the library during open hours. To learn more details about the campaign and find release forms for memorabilia and oral histories, visit www.westsidecampaign.com.
"The stories we've read and heard so far are heartwarming, interesting, informative," Gleichman said. "This will become a treasured collection of history for Jefferson County."
The Bean Foundation is partnering with the Jefferson County Historical Society and the Jefferson County Library District on the Tell Us Your Westside Story campaign. All contributions will become part of the collection of the Jefferson County Historical Society but can also be used by the three organizations in exhibitions, promotions and media campaigns.
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