Local history being put in the hands of students

Fourth grade students in Bell County are receiving local history coloring and activity books thanks to the Bell County Historical Society.

The books are being given out with the help of a grant received from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund and donations from Historical Society members.

The purpose of these local history books is to teach the children about the history of Bell County in an interesting and entertaining manner.

“Bell County has a fascinating history and a unique heritage,” said Ann Matheny, a member of the Bell County Historical Society and a project committee member for the book. “We believe it is important that our children appreciate the importance of their county’s past and its place in our country’s history.”

Heather Parks, the project manager, explained that while a local historian wrote the brief text, Bell County students were asked to submit the drawing and puzzles used to illustrate each page.

“We are most grateful to the art teacher Alan Hurd at Pineville Middle School and High School and also Callie Boyd, the art teacher at Middlesboro High School,” Parks said. “Their enthusiastic help and support is appreciated.”

Bell County High School declined to take part in the project because the school currently does not have an art teacher.

At the Pineville School Board meeting scheduled for Monday, students will be presented with certificates and cash awards. The following students from the Pineville School System will be recognized: Sarah Parks, Dakota Williams, Jacob Laws, Madison Hoskins, Emily Sayre, Madison Wilder, Austin Cloud, Heather Nierengerten and Aurelia Obenshain.

Middlesboro students Brandy Aker, Shelby Vaughn, Haley Anderson, Madilynn Jackson, Cory Evans, and Hunter Parks will receive their awards at the Middlesboro School Board meeting on Tuesday.

“When it became apparent we could have no submissions for six of the topics, the artist in residence at Southeast Community and Technical College, Jaime Corum, assigned her students to provide illustrations for those,” according to Parks, “Our thanks to her and her students, Sharon Vaughn, Ken Macuila, Alexis Riedel, Sarah Partin, Ashley Napier and Hannah Turner.”

“It is amazing,” Parks said, “how the art director for the project, Johnanna Baker, was able to work from all these various students and create such a beautiful and well-designed booklet.”

The booklets will be provided free to all of Bell County’s students in the fourth grade.

According to the Historical Society, the fourth grade was chosen because that is the year students begin studying Kentucky history.