History teachers from the Scottsboro City and Jackson County School Systems are collaborating with Larry Becker to provide educational information at the park.  The teachers have joined together to write the kiosk pages at the park.  Becker is the president of the Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson County.

The Veterans Memorial Park (VMP) of Jackson County was established to honor the memory of Jackson County veterans who have been wounded or killed defending out freedom, to recognize and honor all those who served and are serving, and to promote patriotism. 

The VMP also wants to increase people’s knowledge of history and help them understand what it has taken to make America the great country it is today.  The last part of the purpose is where the history and civic teachers come into play.

Becker said that he has been told by one educator that today’s students do not receive all the education they need to become responsible voters and leaders of tomorrow.  He hopes that by creating the 36 kiosk pages to be installed on Monument Circle for every visitor to read, the public will become better educated.

Perhaps by involving the teachers, they will encourage their students to visit the VMP where they can read about their history. 

Sixteen of the kiosk pages will address the major wars and conflicts that America has fought to maintain our freedom and defend our Constitution. 

“Our goal is not to repeat but augment what is being taught in school,” said Becker. 

Some 31 teachers attended an orientation session last summer and volunteered to research and write about one of the 16 wars or conflicts. 

Each teacher was challenged to tell the readers what they need to know and remember about their particular area.  This also allows the teachers to provide their personal opinion of and contribute to the legacy of the VMP.

Comments and information about their part in this endeavor will be featured in an upcoming story.  Many of the teachers have already replied with a request to comment about this project.

Becker said they are already working on a plan for VMP field trips for area students.  He hopes to have this in place by late April or early May. 

They are anticipating students in grades 5-12 to visit the VMP annually.  There are other ideas being tossed around to involve area students and encourage their coming to the park.

Since the space on the kiosk pages is very limited, the VMP has committed to use Quick Response (QR) code technology and Google products to significantly augment the amount of information to the reader.  Any visitor to the park who has a smart phone with the free scanner app downloaded will be able to click on a unique QR code located at the bottom corner of each kiosk page and access a lot of additional information.   

Each of the teachers has also been given the opportunity to propose multiple QR topics, pictures, graphics, and provide links.

Becker explained that this is clearly a non-typical experiment to involve interested teachers in a part of the park’s history and impact the readers of the kiosk pages. 

“If we are successful,“ added Becker, “every visitor will leave the park remembering ‘Freedom Is Not Free’.”

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