“What’s one thing you would change about Putney?”
Putney Central School students in Leah Toffolon’s eighth grade social studies class put that question to people in Putney one day this fall. They recorded the answers and edited them into vox pops audio montages set to music, and posted their work on the website SoundCloud.
The project was part of the an "exploring sustainability" unit. Students worked with photographer Evie Lovett and the Vermont Folklife Center to learn ethnographic research and interviewing techniques and media production. The resulting audio pieces reflect what people would – and wouldn't – change about their community in Putney.
The Putney students also produced short films highlighting members of the community whose work contributes to the sustainability of the community. The collection is titled “Portraits of Sustainability in Putney.” A public screening of the short films will take place at Next Stage Arts Project in Putney, 15 Kimball Hill Road, on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.
At the other end of the state, third graders at Wolcott Elementary School also plan to share with the public what they've learned about their their community. The students were going to make a presentation at a Wolcott Visioning workshop scheduled for December 9, but that workshop was postponed due to weather. A new date has yet to be announced.