Rochester, Rochester HillsSeptember 8, 2010
Rochester Hills oral history via Facebook
By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER HILLS — The memories of local seniors are now available to a large audience, thanks to social media sites.
The Rochester Oral History Archive Project is a joint effort of the Village of Rochester Hills shopping center and the Oakland University Writing Project.
“Facebook and Twitter give people an easy way to listen to these oral histories,” said project coordinator Cormelia Pokrzywa. “You can very quickly get an audience that you can’t get in other ways.”
The project’s mission includes making technology accessible to seniors while building a local history resource for residents of all ages. Currently, the ROHA Facebook site offers histories of the Give Thanks Bakery and Café, the Halfway Down the Stairs children’s bookstore and more.
The Village of Rochester Hills shopping center awarded a $2,000 grant toward the effort, as part of its Building the Civic ‘Net philanthropic initiative, announced last March. The initiative is designed to support local social media projects in the public interest.
Pokrzywa is an Oakland University special lecturer in the writing and rhetoric department, and specializes in teaching first-year, technology-intensive writing courses. She is also a longtime Oakland Township resident, and a graduate of Rochester Adams High School and Oakland University.
“Cornelia creates the oral histories and then creates a conversation about people’s memories,” said Scott Aikens, vice president of leasing for the Village of Rochester Hills.
Residents are invited to participate by sharing memories connected to local historical sites, events and communities. “We are looking for couples who met in Rochester Hills for Valentine’s Day,” Pokrzywa said at the ROHA kick-off event Feb. 4 at the Village of Rochester Hills.
Three upcoming events are scheduled for seniors interested in participating, Pokrzywa said. The Older Persons’ Commission, 650 Letica Drive, will host a 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 19 session.
Sessions at the Rochester Hills Public Library, 500 Old Towne in Rochester, are scheduled for 10 a.m.-noon March 22 and April 2. Walk-ins are welcome. Participants will be guided through a series of prompts to capture their stories, and researchers will upload materials to the ROHA Web site.
Funding for ROHA is supplemented by a matching grant from Oakland University’s Meadow Brook Writing Project, which is a local site for the National Writing Project.
Those who want to get involved in the oral history effort are invited to join the ROHA Facebook group or follow the ROHA Twitter feed.
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Mom, man she met online to stand trial on child sex charge - Warren
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi