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Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student™ - Service Learning Projects

Fascinating Learning Experiences

One of the ways The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership helps students develop an appreciation for the past and a responsibility for the future is through its groundbreaking service learning programs. These experiential learning activities are designed to connect students with the historic, cultural and natural resources at JTHG sites from Gettysburg to Monticello. Combining creative education curricula, on-site experiences and expert accounts with digital media technology, each project fully immerses students in historic events and situations, providing them with experiences that they can apply to world events. 

The Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student™ Service Learning Project

The Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student™ Program is a nationally recognized, award-winning service learning program that offers students a full immersion in American history and heritage. Eighth grade students find themselves onsite at the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, bringing the stories of those who came before them to life in videos that they write, produce, shoot, and edit under the guidance of JTHG professionals. The resulting mini-movies, or Vodcasts, offer a permanent record of the students’ personal experiences and interpretations.

The pilot program was created and customized by the JTHG Partnership for Harpers Ferry Middle School students in conjunction with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

In July 2010, the program wrapped up a project with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Sutherland Middle School.

In October 2010, the program began a multiyear effort working with middle schools and the Civil War National Parks within the Journey, starting with Manassas National Battlefield Park and Stonewall Middle School.


See What Students are Saying About our Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student™ Program

  • Harpers Ferry (1859/2009)

    Based on their hands-on experiences in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and analysis of primary source documents, approximately 70 Harpers Ferry Middle School kids played a part to produce and promote six mini-documentaries, depicting their understanding of the famous 1859 John Brown Raid in Harpers Ferry, which set-off fighting in the American Civil War.

  • Monticello (2010)

    In this series, students from Sutherland Middle School interpret the Genius of Thomas Jefferson through his home, inventions, childhood, beliefs and convictions.  They also look at Thomas Jefferson's legacy of citizenry.

  • Battle of First Manassas (1861/2011)

    July 21, 1861 marked the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.  In this series, students from Stonewall Middle School interpret the lives of soldiers, African Americans, immigrants, children, and women during this pivotal First Battle of Manassas.

  • Harpers Ferry (1861/2011)

    In this series, students from Harpers Ferry Middle School interpret history in and around Harpers Ferry, WV in 1861.  From the aftermath of John Brown's raid and Virginia's secession from the Union, to the hardships of civilian life, these students offer a compelling look our American history in the early days of the Civil War.

  • Battle of Second Manassas (1862/2012)

    Manassas National Battlefield Park: Created by sixth-grade students from Stonewall Middle School in Manassas, Virginia.

  • C & O Canal (1862/2012)

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park: Created by eighth-grade students from Springfield Middle School in Williamsport, Maryland.

  • Antietam (1862/2012)

    Over several months, E. Russell Hicks Middle School students have worked on site with National Park Rangers, historians, JTHG Partnership educators and researched historical source documents to learn about life on and off the battlefield during 1860’s and during the Bloodiest Battle in American history. 

  • Gettysburg (1863/2013)

    In this series, students from Gettysburg Area Middle School in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, interpret the history surrounding the Battle of Gettysburg by depicting events that transpired during that time, found in primary source documents.

  • Orange (1864/2014)

    Throughout the 2014 school year, 7th-grade students from Orange County Public Schools in Orange County, Virginia, immersed themselves in their local history as it relates to the Battle of the Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign. During this process, they also produced a mini-movie, or vodcast, using only primary source documents.

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