Students at Mason County High School recently learned about their family histories and presented that information on Tuesday.
MCHS language arts teacher Rachel Stanfield said every year, her 10th grade students work on a project about their identities within their family, community and country.
“We complete an overarching project about self identity,” Stanfield said. “We begin with who they are and where they’ve been and next we’ll talk about our identity in the community, followed by in the country and in the world. Then, at the end of the year, we’ll backtrack and talk about who we are a year later.”
Stanfield said the students have worked on their projects since the second day of school. The project required students to conduct research at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, create two poems, future goals, artifacts and pictures.
Mary Fullard said she researched her family history and learned several surprising points.
“I have a lot of nieces and nephews and a lot of sisters and cousins,” she said. “I didn’t know my dad was originally from North Carolina, because he always said he was from Florida. His parents were from New York.”
One thing Fullard said she learned from completing the project is that everyone has some similarities.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, you can probably have similar backgrounds, just different scenarios,” she said.
Fullard said her goal is to become a nurse and she has already started to consider several colleges to make that goal a reality. She also hopes to one day see the world and work to help those who are homeless.
Jaselyn Ginn presented her project on the computer with a slideshow about her family history. One of the poems she presented talked about her fear of speaking in public.
“I’m scared to talk in front of the class,” she said. “It bugs me out. That’s something I’m hoping to work on.”
Other information in her project included a bucket she and her family take to the beach every year.
“We take it with us and add seashells to it,” she said. “We take pictures on our trips and holidays”
Ginn said her future goal is to work in the medical field, though she is unsure exactly what she wants to do in it.
One surprising thing Ginn said she learned was her great-grandfather’s heritage.
“My great-grandfather on my father’s side is 100 percent German, but he was born in America. His parents were born in Germany,” she said. “I also learned my family tree is huge.”
Nathan Dean said he also learned some interesting information about his family.
“I found a picture of my grandparents at (Eastern Kentucky University),” he said. “I didn’t know he went to EKU, but I did know he went to pharmacy school in Charleston, S.C. I also didn’t know they were married in college.”
Dean said he showed the picture to his family, who were as equally surprised to see it.
“My grandfather liked it,” he said. “He had no idea it existed still.”
Dean said he wants to be an industrial electrician. He is currently enrolled in electrical vocational classes and next year, he plans to take the electrical industrial classes.
“When I graduate, I hope to attend a trade school, but I’m not sure which one yet,” he said.