Hometown Teams Southside Junior High School - Batesville

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The Independence Regional Museum and along 7 EAST programs from 4 different school districts are partnering to create a documentary showing the impact of sports on our community - HOMETOWN TEAMS. The project was inspired by the museum's recently awarded Smithsonian grant. The Youth Access Endowment will offer development and implementation grants each year, on a competitive basis, to Smithsonian educators and researchers to support new ideas or expand ongoing projects that have proven successful. "Research shows that youth in undeserved rural regions often lack meaningful connections to and/or a deep understanding of their local histories and traditions, fueling youth sentiments such as a lack of belonging and an absence of purpose within their communities."

The museum received the grant to work with students in local schools to help young people feel appreciated by adults and adults recognize the talents and contributions of young people, increase understanding of how their community contributes to U.S. history and ensure Smithsonian resources were shared with people in rural places.

The project to date is not complete and has multiple components including final premiere viewing of the documentary at our newly restored Melba Theater on Main Street in Batesville, AR, designing movie posters in photoshop to post outside the theater, assisting the museum on an exhibit of local hometown sports athletes and memorabilia, allowing each district to elaborate their footage to create their own district's documentary and finally compile all of our information, statistics and videos to present on the economic impact of hometown sports to our community and state.

The team work between districts in collaborating, building community pride and working with technology has brought our programs to new levels.

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