Lake City teachers and students connect with their roots

By Kathy Woodard

Lake CityThe tobacco industry was the center of culture in Lake City for decades, yet many of the area’s young people do not understand its importance to the culture, economy and history of their community. Beth Wright, district superintendent, and Patricia Chandler, director of instruction for Florence County School District 3, worked with Clemson’s Service Alliance to change that.

They proposed a research project to connect middle and high school students to their roots while it improved their study skills and encouraged them to consider higher education. The project, “Student Participation in Community Research: The Rise and Fall of Tobacco in the Lake City Market Area”, was funded through Clemson’s Service Alliance and included a tour of Clemson’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence.

“I learned more about my family’s history and the financial problems related to the fall of the tobacco market,” said Joel Graham, a Clemson student and Lake City resident who assisted with the research.

For information: Barbara Speziale, 864-656-1550,