A youth writing and history immersion workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the J. Austin White Cultural Center at Eudora.
The Celebrate! Maya Project of Arkansas, in partnership with the Lakeside Public School District, the city of Eudora and the J. Austin White Cultural Center are workshop co-sponsors, according to a news release.
“The goal of the youth writing and history workshop is to offer middle and high school students a unique interactive writing and history experience in which they learn more about their history by hearing local history makers’ stories, participating in one-on-one interview sessions, then writing biographical essays based on their interviews,” said Janis F. Kearney, founding president of the Celebrate! Maya Project.
The project’s mission is to help youth understand and value the Arkansas Delta region’s rich history and to meet some of the people who played a pivotal role in enriching the region through their works, even though many are not found in the history books, Kearney said.
The workshop will also include authors, artists, photojournalists and historians who will discuss the importance of collecting and valuing the rich history and assist students in completing their biographical essays. Students’ work will be featured in a county history book published by the Celebrate! Maya Project and presented at a community book launch in fall 2019.
Chicot County History Makers will include Linda Armour-Bruce, principal at Lakeside Public Schools; Chicot County Judge Mack Ball; Elizabeth “Lillie” Borgognoni, a member of the original family of the Sunnyside Plantation and historian for the Body of Lakes; Dr. Andronica Handie, renowned foot and ankle surgeon; Ocie Hunter, Arkansas’ first African-American park superintendent; Leroy and Mary Jackson, Chicot Farm Family of the Year, and community leaders; Tom and Lynn Marshall, Southeast Arkansas farmers, philanthropists, and U.S. presidential appointee; Carol and Alvin Meyer Jr., Southeast Arkansas farmers and community servants; Bettye DeLoach-Pressley, 18-year public official in Eudora as alderman and city clerk, author and former educator; Dr. LaCandian Spencer, pharmacist and community leader; Laquinda Alexander-Toney, school counselor and behavior/mental health therapist; Robert Howard Toney Sr., former insurance official, farmer and public servant; Mary Turner, the first female Chicot County judge; and Joyce Vaught, lifetime educator recognized statewide for her work to improve education.
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