Conversation with Pecos CHC
County Historical Commissions (CHC) are committed to provide preservation-related activities for young people across the state. These events create enduring partnerships and cultivate a love for Texas history. Below is a youth outreach success story from the Pecos CHC.
Pecos CHC has initiated a successful Texas history poster contest, which has developed into an annual field trip including a tour of historic buildings. You may remember Pecos CHC Chair, Nancy Hayter’s, interview from this blog article. We followed up with Nancy to learn more about what has made this annual event so successful, and how the poster contest has benefited the Pecos CHC.
Madeline Clites (THC): How was the contest advertised to the public?
Nancy Hayter, Pecos CHC Chair (NH): We advertised through the schools. The CHC first connected with the main 7th grade teacher when we gave tours of the Hovey School and the Rollins/Sibley House during Old Fort Days in 2012. Having a contact in the school helped us tremendously. This year we plan to put an ad in the Fort Stockton paper to recruit home-schooled students.
THC: What was the theme of the poster contest? Will it change from year to year?
NH: The theme was “A Person or Event from Texas History.” We will stay with this general theme.
THC: What challenges did you have in planning and executing this project?
NH: Our biggest challenge was getting participation. The first year, we worked with 4th grade classes. I went to the Fort Stockton Intermediate School (4th-5th grade) principal and she was so excited. I e-mailed each intermediate school in the county several times as well, but we only got one poster. So as a former middle school teacher myself, I thought that the key would be to work around the state test and target 7th grade. After we met the main 7th grade teacher during Old Fort Days, I visited with the middle school principal. We threw in the field trip and it was a hit!
THC: How has this event positively impacted the Pecos CHC?
NH: The contest and field trip is a very positive way to show off our buildings and tell our county history. CHC members are very involved with the judging of the posters and the tour of the Rollins/Sibley House, the Hovey School, the Native Garden, Historic Fort Stockton, and the Fort Guard House. We were also able to incorporate local archeology, Native American history, and pioneer uses of plants. Our commissioners funded our project and made sure that the grounds of the historic buildings were kept.
Thank you Pecos CHC for sharing how your organization educates students about local history. The event not only connected the CHC to young people, but it also helped to raise public awareness of historic structures in the county and promote preservation efforts.
More information found on the web links below.