The White River Valley Historical Society hosted a presentation and award ceremony for the participants of Forsyth School’s 2010-2011 eighth-grade ‘Ozark Studies’ class. During each quarter’s class, the students chose a historical subject from the Ozark’s region, learned to conduct research and interviews, and then prepared digital histories. Project Taney, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1998 for the purpose of promoting the teaching and learning of the Ozark culture and history, organized a digital storytelling contest for students in grades 6-12. Each year Project TANEY, Inc. sponsors at least one student research competition called “This Community: Voices of Our Youth.” The topic of this year’s competition was “A Sense of Place” and was co-sponsored by The Homestead Pickers and Adan, Inc., the latter hosting the digital stories online.

During the presentation, led by Project Taney founders Michelle Waters and Tammy Morton, attendees viewed histories ranging from the destroyed town of Melva to biographies of Vance Randolph and A.C. Kissee to Branson’s music show development.

Winners of the 2011 Digital Storytelling Contest were: Aleese Thomas, 1st place for her project on the Branson Music Industry; MacKenzie Goodale, 2nd place for her Vance Randolph digistory; and 3rd place honor went to Madison Perry for her presentation on the history of Silver Dollar City. Honorable Mention went to Elizabeth Barnes, Aubri Broussard, Nick Epps, Ty Gray, Austin Jasper, Nick Jones, Hannah Lemmon, Ashley Shrum, Kylie Stepp, Victoria Wetter, and Alex Woods.

The White River Valley Historical Society, which has been in existence since 1961, frequently partners with schools, after-school facilities, and youth organizations on educational events regarding the history of the Ozarks’ region.