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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

Fairmont State University


Fairmont State


Fairmont State University students collaborated with Monongah Elementary School to implement a heritage arts enrichment program that will promote a sense of community, identity, creativity, and self-reliance. The project utilized student achievement in the Appalachian heritage art of dulcimer playing as a means to improve self-esteem, problem-solving skills, sense of place, and community pride. The program was intended to help equip students with useful tools to position them for future success in education, life, and citizenship. The ATP students, working with our community partners and elementary schoolchildren, built on last year’s project by interviewing last year’s students to gain an understanding of the impact of the program; learning basic playing techniques, heritage and history of the mountain dulcimer; learning instructional techniques; developing a template for using heritage arts to teach positive life skills; and implementing the program to an entire elementary grade level. The project built upon research demonstrating the positive value of arts education in increasing children’s self-reliance, problem-solving abilities, creative thinking, and ability to collaborate with others. The project was designed to provide a model of heritage arts education that can ultimately contribute to improving education attainment in the region.


Contact Information


Lynette Swiger, MA

Professor of Folklore Studies

Telephone: (304) 612-4054


Previous Conference Participation:
2016    2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009

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