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Local Youth Documenting COVID-19 for Valentine Museum

empty lawn chairs in a circle
A photo of empty lawn chairs by a 3rd grader from Ashland could demonstrate safe social distancing - or just reflect their experience in quarantine. (Courtesy: The Valentine)

*This story was reported by VPM intern Alexander Broenig

Since the project “Richmond Stories from Richmond Kids” launched earlier this month, the Valentine museum has received more than 20 submissions from young people in the Richmond area.

The program was created to collect stories and reflections from K-12 students about the effects of the coronavirus on their lives.

Liz Reilly-Brown, the Valentine’s director of education and engagement, says that documenting this historic period through the eyes of children is crucial.

 “One of the goals that we have with this project is to help students recognize that we’re living in a historic moment, and to see themselves as active participants in documenting that history,”  Reilly-Brown said.

The submissions reveal a range of reflections on the pandemic, like a drawing of a dog wearing a facemask and a photograph of 10 empty chairs on a front lawn.

Reilly-Brown says that the museum has encouraged students to submit work that reveals what’s happening in their daily lives.

“I hope that kids doing this project will consider what  children 100 years from now will be interested in knowing,” she said. Submissions have also used a range of media, including essays, interviews, photos, and paintings

Submissions are being shared on the Valentine museum’s website, and on social media, @thevalentineRVA on Twitter and Instagram.

The museum is continuing to collect submissions, including photographs, drawings, essays, and interviews. Students can submit their work on the Valentine museum’s website.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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