A telling project

EL students show a part of their culture with photography

EL chair and teacher Amy Peddie has her students share stories about all the different and interesting kinds of cultures through a series of activities every year.

This year, Peddie created a cultural project with her students, along with the photography class at SHS. Peddie asks her students to pick an artifact from their homeland, then the students take a photo of that artifact and write a story about what it means to them personally. 

The artifact does not have to be anything extraordinary, but rather something that holds deep meaning.

“I had been looking online at a project called Global Oneness, and it’s a photo contest that students had to just write a narrative of an artifact that they either brought from their home country or something that was meaningful to them,” Peddie said.

Peddie realized that the project was something she could not do alone with her lack of experience regarding photography. A fellow co-worker at SHS, art teacher Kayla Shouse, had the experience that she needed to fulfill the project with the students.

 “I thought, ‘Well, I don’t really know anything about photography or how to take pictures very well,’” Peddie said. “I asked if the photography teacher would help us with our project, and she seemed excited.”

The photography teacher is not the only one to be excited about this, since one of Peddie’s students, sophomore Ngerili Beita, is also excited. 

“I’m excited about my paragraph because I’ve been wanting to write like this. I want to show how much my grandma takes her time to do this for me” Beita said. “There is no specific part, but I think (I) like the paragraph the most because I wrote down all the details and how my grandma made it for me.”

Grateful to Peddie also for giving her this opportunity that she did not get to do before, in her previous school years, Beita was able to experience what many students have not gotten to experience yet.

“I am very excited about the project I’m doing with Mrs.Peddie…,” Beita said. “I would like to do more projects like this next semester.” 

Working on this with Peddie has helped her dig more into her culture and allows her to share more about her culture that others might not have known about before, Beita says.

My favorite part of the project is about our culture and how it is related to the people,” Beita said.

This project can also be used to educate other students with those that are living in a life that isn’t very diverse in culture, and the hope is it will make SHS a more welcoming school for students with different backgrounds.