published Monday, June 27th, 2011

Interviews teach teens about history

Memorabilia from the family of Becky Tucker, the coordinator for the "History Within Us" youth activity, is displayed during orientation for the youth program.  Rhea County students interviewed elderly residents to gain knowledge about the 1920s and the county's history before the Scopes Festival in July.
Memorabilia from the family of Becky Tucker, the coordinator for the "History Within Us" youth activity, is displayed during orientation for the youth program. Rhea County students interviewed elderly residents to gain knowledge about the 1920s and the county's history before the Scopes Festival in July.
Photo by Mariann Martin.
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DAYTON, Tenn. — For Rhea County teens Jamie Morgan and Nathan Hudson, the summertime “History Within Us” activity taught them about appreciation.

Jamie Morgan said he enjoyed the opportunity to interview his uncle, Truman Tucker. He said he found out that his uncle had made his own toys. He also learned that “[people] worked a lot more” years ago and had to grow up sooner.

Nathan Hudson said he interviewed 79-year-old Mike Barger and learned about his childhood in Graysville, Tenn., near the coal mines. Nathan also discovered that children’s toys used to be handmade from wood rather than purchased from a retail store.

Becky Tucker, a former teacher and coordinator for the youth project, said she wanted the students to start with 1920s history, which involves the Scopes Trial, but “also learn about the people of Rhea County” and their stories.

The students were given two weeks to gather information for the historical fact-finding project and reported their findings last week with their parents.

At the session, Tucker related the story of her family having the first house on the outskirts of Dayton that was wired for electricity.

The students will receive a keepsake magazine, created by consultant Alana Brodniak, with their reports and pictures of their museum and festival tours.

Tucker hopes to film some of the interviewees answering questions from students.

She encouraged the students and those interviewed to attend a planning session July 14 at 7 p.m. at the Rhea County Welcome Center. A 30-minute filming session is set for July 16 at 10:30 a.m.

The public is invited to attend the filming session inside the historic courthouse.

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