Indian Valley students share COVID experiences in living history project

Ingrid Burke

Special to Plumas News

[email protected]


Greenville Learning Center fifth-grader Lucy Bentz displays the personal narrative she is submitting to a living history project organized by the local museum. Photo by Jennifer Van Acker

Fifth-graders at Plumas Charter School’s Greenville Learning Center are sharing their experiences of the COVID pandemic with posterity by contributing to the Mt. Jura Gem and Museum Society living history publication.


In an introductory letter, David Wilson, the society’s president, said the project’s goal is to document the pandemic’s impact on “our youth, families, and friends” and to “tell the story of life as we have experienced it.” To achieve these goals, he said, requires input from “all of us — all ages, all races, all backgrounds, all living through this time apart and together.”

Supported by their teacher, Jennifer Van Acker, GLC fifth-graders each wrote a personal narrative about their experiences in school during COVID-19. The students sharpened their public speaking skills by presenting their narratives to their class and teacher. Then Van Acker delivered the narratives, along with a photo of each student, to the museum for inclusion in the living history publication.

Students wrote about the physical discomfort of wearing masks, the disappointment of needing to remain distanced from friends, worries about getting sick, and the challenges of learning at home. But they also expressed pride and confidence in their ability to adapt, as well as hope for the future.

“They poured their heart and souls into these narratives and really described the hardships they faced while adapting to these new normals,” said Van Acker.


The Mt. Jura Gem and Museum Society is accepting submissions for the COVID-19 living history project through the end of 2021. To submit, send documents to Mt. Jura Gem and Museum Society, PO Box 194, Taylorsville, CA 95983. Questions can be directed to the museum at [email protected] or (530) 284-1046.

To read a handful of the fifth-graders’ narratives, visit the PCS website at

Ingrid Burke is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School.