For Thomas Gregory and his students, winning awards for their classroom work is nothing new. Gregory has been honored previously with multiple Time Warner Cable National Teacher Awards. This year, his students won more awards than any other school at the National High School Journalism Convention. Their Veterans' memorial project, for which Gregory is being honored tonight, had a significant impact on the whole community in Blacklick, Ohio. In an effort to generate support, raise awareness and fundraise for the building of the Veterans' memorial project, Gregory's television journalism students developed, produced and disseminated a 60-minute documentary featuring local veterans and current servicemen and servicewomen.
His partnership with Time Warner Cable provided support for the students as they developed the project and provided an outlet - via the local on demand channel - to share their work with the local community. Gregory also used The History Channel's Save Our History free educator's manual to help create lesson plans, and to preview various newscasts and documentaries to help prepare his students to create their own documentary.
As the project grew, the television journalism class enlisted the help of fellow students studying architecture to design a $130,000 granite structure in front of their school that would list all of the names of former students who died in military service. The students helped to design, publicize, and raise funds for the project, including staging an "oldies" concert for the community. Students, veterans and area citizens came together to support the project and raised the needed funds in just four months.
"Aside from meeting all the learning objectives, the project seemed to grow in magnitude as students became more excited about it. It has helped students throughout the entire school see that history is all around us. Today's events are tomorrow's history and our very own community has been impacted directly by the events of history." Thomas Gregory
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