Alumna starts SLP COVID-19 Quarantine Archive Project

Opportunities arise to make students' stories heard

Photo+illustration+by+Molly+Schochet.

Photo illustration by Molly Schochet.

Molly Schochet

While history often only reflects the voices of people who are in power, Park alum Jamie Halper decided to combat this by creating the SLP COVID-19 Quarantine Archive Project to give Park students the opportunity to give their voice a spot in history.

“Typically high school students or people who don’t have tons of money are not getting their voices in the archive,” Halper said. “So I really wanted to find a way to give high school students access to both study an archive and also contribute to an archive.”

Social studies teacher Carley Kregness, who assisted Halper in alerting students about the archive, said the project is a great way for students to make their voice heard for future generations.

“This is the kind of thing that teaches future generations what it was like for the rest of us, for the real people, for students so all income levels and the ages and races … this is the way to have our voices heard and (for historians) to get a better sense of what the whole society was like,” Kregness said.

According to Halper, this project is only for Park, but she is working on starting more projects like it.

“I’ve talked to some friends around the country, like some college friends about the possibility of working with them to start it at other schools, but this one that I’m working on is specifically SLP (St. Louis Park),” Halper said.

Kregness has decided to incorporate the archive project into her classes.

“I used it differently in some of my different classes, in my world history class it’s their final assignment. I asked everybody to make a contribution, we talked about what archives are,” Kregness said. “With my other classes, I just made it optional.”

Halper said in addition to the archive acting as a way for students’ voices to be preserved through history, she hopes the project can make students feel proud of their work.

“I want people to be able to produce work that they’re proud of and be able to see it published online in their own work, in their own style without any editing and to really feel like they can take ownership over something that’s published online,” Halper said.

According to Halper, students can submit almost any kind of visual art or writing they have created during quarantine.

“Students can submit journal reflections or poetry or short stories or visual art that they’ve created in quarantine, and it can either be about quarantine or it can just be something that you made in quarantine,” Halper said.

Halper said all entries sent to her will be posted online. Work can be submitted on the website where you can also find her email for any questions.