NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- It's not uncommon for Sibley Elementary third graders to lead lessons. After all, they aren't learning from just any old textbook. They are learning from "Our Story: A Guide to the History of Northfield, Minnesota," written by students for students.
Jenna Scheffert, a Northfield high school junior, helped write the 42-chapter book with about a dozen other students. She was born and raised in Northfield but her research proved even she had something to learn.
"I never really understood how special of a place it is. It really showed me the relationships that are here and how it started from essentially nothing...from a mill and now it grew to a city with 20,000" she said.
The book was written for a program called SCOPE, short for Student Community Outreach Program Experience. Social Science Teacher Earl Weinmann led the project.
"We often think of history as something that exists only among scholarly historians. These students, although they are scholarly, they made a very meaningful contribution to our community and something that I believe will benefit our community for decades to come," Weinmann said.
Students like Courtney Asada, also a junior, never thought they'd write an entire textbook, let alone one that would take four years. When the project started the high schoolers were just in middle school. As some of them get ready to graduate the gravity of the project is starting to settle in.
"It just kind of shows that everyone can have an impact on their community in anyway," Asada said.
The book is being used district-wide in third grade classrooms. It's also available for the public to purchase at the local museum for $29.95.
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