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Family History Event

April 3, 2012
Family History Event/Colburn Children's Centre

Family History Event/Colburn Children's Centre

For the past two days I have been engaged in a Family History Event at Colburn Children’s Centre, The Broadway, Colburn, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.  This was a free family event called ‘Story Factory’ which involved families in researching and recording their family history.  I delivered this event in conjunction with family history research tutor, Helen Robinson.  At lunchtime each day we were joined by professional story-teller Roop Singh.

On the first day we focussed on starting family history research and putting together a memory box as a way of collecting family stories to pass down the generations.  Overnight families selected objects to bring in to share their stories with other families on the morning of the second day.  During story share we heard from Anna (age 4) who told us about her teddy, her tidy up cup and swimming badge.  Her sister Sophie (age 2) showed us her favourite toy and an egg she had decorated herself.  It was the first time she had spoken so confidently in front of others.

Anna and Sophie’s parents shared their original idea of transfering family photos to fridge magnets as a constant reminder and talking point about family activities.  Although they had already done some family history research and recording of their own, they also took part in creating a family story book with the help of the girls.

Oliver (age 5) brought a number of treasured possessions to the story chair and told us why they were special to him.  He and his family have started a family-themed memory box.  His sister Poppy (age 2) introduced us to her favourite doll called ‘Baby’.  Together they made paper people and a family tree for their story book.  Helen had already worked with them the previous day to show them how to build a family tree using lego people.

Before lunch Roop produced an Indian puppet family and used them to tell the story of a young boy growing up and doing different jobs to earn money in India.  His message to the children was how useful it is to be able to read and write and do sums in order to find a job.

Although the two days were quite a challenge as our audience were younger than expected, we quickly adapted to their skills and abilities.  Focussing on story-telling rather than writing skills and arts & crafts activities to produce an image-based story book meant that the whole family were able to work together to produce a family history record that they can use to tell and retell their stories.

Parents were given advice and guidance on how to continue both researching and recording their family story and we had an enjoyable and rewarding two days.  I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to participate in childhood activities that I used to play with my grandparents such as Kim’s game and making paper people.

  1. Helen Robinson permalink

    It was a very rewarding course to take part in and a pleasure to work with you, Judith. Thank you for introducing me to your blog page.

  2. What an interesting and important project! And how good that the families will continue it afterwards/ You must have been very inspiring. Compelling post

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