To promote the history of the islands, the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and the Public School System will be launching a National History Day competition for students.
The competition would require students to prepare projects related to history using different media, said Humanities Council executive director Leo Pangelinan.
“The Humanities Council is concerned about the history of our islands, and we want to promote it in any way we can,” Pangelinan said. “One of the effective ways to do that is to engage younger people in our community, to help them learn how to be able to collect history through the memories of people who are still alive”
The Humanities Council intends to make the competition a regional one, with the winner ultimately competing in Maryland in June 2020.
Pangelinan has partnered with oral historian Rlene Steffy to hold workshops to help teachers and interested individuals in advising students on their projects using oral history tools.
Steffy has been molding future oral historians through the workshops she has been facilitating through the years.
“The whole purpose is to encourage people in the Northern Marianas to collect our history,” Steffy said. “We want to introduce them to the collection process of oral history, the benefit of oral history, and the methods that are necessary to conduct oral history interviews.”
The Northern Marianas Humanities Council offers grants to people who want to produce things that are of historical value, with Steffy as mentor for up to a year of the duration of the project. For more information, contact the Humanities Council office at 235-4785.