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Friday, February 22, 2019

CCHS Students Conduct Community Heart & Soul Interviews

CCHS Seniors from Mrs. Copp’s Communication Class. Left to Right:  Laila Smith, Chloe Burgett, Alyvia McKimm, Casie Frey, Kamme Cuisto, Ally Narby. Missing from Photo: Marcus Brown.
Walt Disney once said, “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” Using this ideal as motivating inspiration, members of the Cameron County Project (CCP), over the past several months, have felt a strong obligation to reach the voices and opinions of the younger generation as part of the CCP’s Resident-Driven Visioning Study. Unfortunately, the views of children and teenagers are oftentimes overlooked and sometimes hard to discover. However, the CCP has explained that in order to build a more prosperous Cameron County now and for years to come, the hopes, concerns, and calls to action of our younger residents should be taken into consideration. Luckily, the CCP’s commitment to this objective came to fruition thanks to a coalition between the CCP and Mrs. Carrie Copp’s Senior Communications Class! This union was made possible by the diligent efforts of Amy Goode of the Community Education Center of Elk and Cameron Counties (CEC). As Program Manager of the CEC, Goode is in charge of a partnership called the Discover Partnership. It helps connect schools, businesses, and communities. Therefore, Goode thought that the CCP would benefit from this partnership to reach into the halls of the Cameron County schools. When asked why she thought it was important to consider the views of younger Cameron County residents to find solutions to help their county prosper, Goode stated, “It is important for the youth to have pride and respect in their community in order to keep them there. Providing opportunities for them to express their voice is an important piece to providing them with a connection within their community and to promote that pride.”

In Copp’s class, her students have initiated mini-community heart and soul studies by identifying the multiple “voices” among their peers and fellow students at Cameron County Jr./Sr. High School (CCHS). These “voices” include, but are not limited to, band members, shop students, environmental/outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, honor students, students in the workforce, and “uninvolved students” (kids who are not involved in any school activities). After discerning these various voices, Copp’s students began the process of conducting one-on-one interviews with other students by recording them via videotape. Also, Copp’s class is going to be broadening their study by interviewing teachers at CCHS. Furthermore, her students have written blog posts answering the CCP’s Heart & Soul question survey. Their blogs will be posted within the next few weeks! Please feel free to read them online at or check out the CCP Facebook and Instagram pages!
Thanks to Copp’s students, the CCP has gained insightful information and ideas which seemed to have carried across different grade levels which could result in implementable actions going forward with the CCP’s future projects and overall goals.

Additionally, members of the CCP have been able to gather data by working with the creative and imaginative children of Woodland Elementary School. This was made possible by working with the Cameron County Family Center. During their After School Express programs, both 3rd and 4th graders were encouraged to draw/create My Cameron County brochures about their favorite places in Cameron County. Along with the 3rd and 4th graders, the CCP received the opportunity to work with the kindergartners in both Mrs. Bauer and Purcell’s classes. Their students, using crayons, paper bags, and construction paper, built their own towns with their favorite places in Cameron County. With the brochures and constructed towns, some of the places these children love include the following: playgrounds, churches in the county, Sizerville swimming pool, Pizza Palace Plus, Emporium Shurfine, Barbara Moscato Brown Memorial Library, Aroma Café & Bakery and many more! Between CCHS and Woodland Elementary School, the CCP is grateful for the time and effort they have given to share their thoughts on how they would like to see Cameron County grow for future generations to come.

Contact Jessica Herzing at or for more information or for fun and exciting volunteer opportunities for everyone!

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