County Launches Viral Voices to Share Student Stories
Today, in collaboration with Leon County Schools and other educational institutions, Leon County Government launched an innovative online project to document the stories of youth inspired by COVID-19. Called Viral Voices: Sharing Your Pandemic Story, the local project empowers students to document and share their personal narratives about life during the pandemic. The Leon County Public Library System will collect and showcase student submissions throughout the pandemic and beyond at www.LeonCountyFl.gov/ViralVoices.
“The coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of everyone, including our students who have missed out on in-person classes, sports seasons, celebrations and more,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Bryan Desloge. “We want to elevate and preserve the voices of our youngest citizens and their personal experiences through this initiative both now and in the years to come.”
Through the County project and in collaboration with Leon County Schools, local charter and private schools, and homeschool groups, students can submit stories of all types and formats. Stories can be poems, letters, photographs, artwork, spoken word, and short videos. Also, the stories reflect a wide array of lived experiences and emotions, from inspirational to funny, sad, or frustrating.
“The County’s innovative Viral Voices project will not only record first-person accounts for future generations,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long, “but the project will also connect us as a community right now as we hear from our youngest voices.”
In order to participate, students must have a parent or legal guardian sign a permission form. The Leon County Library will collect student submissions until the end of the pandemic and once the collection is complete, it will be submitted to the State Archives. As submissions will be made public through the State Archives and on social media, it is important to not include any identifying information.
"We recognize that our students are living through a unique moment in history," said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna, "and the Viral Voices project is an excellent way to capture the thoughts and experiences of young people in our community."
To learn more about the Viral Voices: Sharing Your Pandemic Story project or to submit a response, visit www.LeonCountyFl.gov/ViralVoices.
For more information, contact the Leon County Library, at (850) 606-2665 / AnswerSquad@LeonCountyFL.gov or Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / CMR@LeonCountyFL.gov.