Homewood Magazine

2015

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40 H o m e w o o d M a g a z i n e 2 0 1 5 J Jake Collins & Homewood History Hunt H M S T E A C H E R M A K E S H O M E W O O D H I S T O R Y F U N H He returned to Homewood almost three years ago to teach 8th-grade ancient world history at Homewood Middle School. "It's really hard to make ancient history relevant to anyone, especially 8th graders," Collins says. After reading Sheryl Spradling Summe's Homewood: The Life of a City, he recognized some connections between the ancient history he was teaching and the development of Homewood. "I thought that if I could get kids interested in local history, then maybe they could see some connections between something familiar, like Homewood, and the ancient world," Collins continues. He began showing historical pictures of Homewood to his students and talking about the connections between our city and the ancient world. After realizing that many of his students knew very little about Homewood history, he created an ongoing extra credit project called the Homewood History Hunt. Collins enlisted Martha Wurtele's help in gathering photos and began posting the images to Instagram. He encouraged his students to fi nd the present day location and take a picture of themselves at the spot in order to receive bonus points."It was Jake Collins grew up in Homewood enjoying an idyllic childhood riding his bike through the neighborhoods, playing wiffl e ball with friends, and learning the history of his hometown. E D U C AT I O N Jake Collins actually their idea," Collins says of his students. "I thought that it would be a good opportunity to use social media in a positive way and also to engage them outside of the classroom." Pictures of Homewood are posted on Instagram on Mondays, and students have one week to fi nd the location and take a picture of themselves there. Through the Homewood History Hunt, people began contacting Collins with old photos of Home- wood and stories of their lives and families in Homewood, and as a result, he has started somewhat of a repository of Homewood history. So much so that he is working with Arcadia Publishing to write a book on Homewood for their Images of America series. "Not many people get the opportunity to write a book about their hometown, and it's something I couldn't pass up," Collins says. The book is due out at the end of this year. As far as Collins' best Homewood memories, football is at the forefront: "I loved watching football games on Friday nights. My dad made me sit with him and watch... I wasn't allowed to run around with the other kids. And to this day, I can still name every starting quarterback at Homewood since 1983 (the year I was born)."

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