For the second straight year, Student Leadership Johns Creek has partnered with Mercer University Tift College of Education and the Johns Creek Historical Society to receive grant funding to work on a unique project documenting the living history of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant project, Same Storm, Different Boats is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University. This project will focus on how the coronavirus impacted people across the world, especially our local community of Johns Creek. Although we all lived through this worldwide pandemic, everyone experienced it differently. Students from Student Leadership Johns Creek will conduct primary and secondary source research by acquiring and analyzing resources such as photographs, art, poetry, videos and oral histories that document the various experiences and perspectives of community members during the pandemic. Once their research is complete, they will select artifacts to include in a travelling exhibit that can be used for educational programming about the pandemic for events in Johns Creek as well as at Mercer University and will create a book further documenting their efforts.
Recording the human experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial to preserving the history of this remarkable time that we lived through. The students who will be working on this extraordinary grant research are from Johns Creek, Northview, Chattahoochee High Schools and Innovation Academy. They have already begun writing a preliminary essay using sources from the Library of Congress. According to Student Leadership Johns Creek Executive Director Irene Sanders, “we see this as an incredible opportunity for our student leaders to reflect upon this historic time and learn and articulate what happened for future generations to understand.”
Johns Creek Mayor John Bradberry said “I am proud that our own SLJC is once again being recognized for its scholarly research and presentation, this time with a prestigious grant award from the Library of Congress.” Project leader Dr. Katherine Perrotta, Assistant Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education at Mercer University Tift College of Education, and Ms. Katlynn Cross, a social studies teacher and doctoral student at the Mercer University Curriculum & Instruction Ph.D. program, have been meeting with the students since August. Dr. Perrotta said, “I am honored to work with these incredible students who are doing an important service to Johns Creek through researching the diverse experiences of their friends, families, and community members during this very difficult time in history.”