Kids Learn Lesson Of 'Knowing Where You Come From'

Kids Learn Lesson Of 'Knowing Where You Come From'
SEATTLE - It's not everyday that kids have homework like this. The assignment is to document the "extreme makeover" of their entire neighborhood.

Fifth-grade student Monjae Brown enjoys showing off one of the posters he's made explaining the different languages he discovered in his own backyard. "I've found probably about four or five," he says.

Monjae and his classmates at High Point Elementary are paying close attention to what's happening all around their school.

"The High Point area is being redeveloped through a federal grant," says Teacher Meredith Blache. "Last year, the fourth-graders decided they wanted to document the redevelopment of the area. A lot of them are kids that have been in the area all their lives, their parents grew up here."

This year, as fifth-grade students, the kids are continuing their work, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Adobe. Armed with cameras, pens, and paper, the class sets out on a weekly basis to follow the project's progress.

Shantell Ingram proudly displays one of her posters in the school hallway. She says she really enjoys getting to walk out onto the site to talk with the construction people.

"My favorite was when we got to look at all the different kinds of houses that they are making," Shantell says.

The documentary should be completed and available on DVD by the end of the school year. Besides the technical skills, the class has also learned an important lesson about "knowing where you come from."

"You get a whole sense of community, and also more pride in their community," Blache says.