LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Culture Coalition has released a video, This Little Light, to area elementary schools using the life of LaFollette native Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong as an inspirational teaching tool. The project, called “Building Beyond Blocks,” was funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Over the last month, East Tennessee musicians Chris Durman, Kelle Jolly and Sean McCullough have been onsite in LaFollette filming for the project. This Little Light was made available to schools on Thursday.

According to Culture Coalition Executive Director Manuel Mesa, the 12 minute video is geared for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students, but could easily be adapted for older students. “Through the use of lively music and storytelling, the lesson speaks to obstacles while growing up that can be solved through adapting, improvising and overcoming.

Based on the life of nationally famous black string band musician Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, the story touches on segregation, the Civil Rights movement, and life in Appalachia,” Mesa said, adding that he believed the time spent with the video and classroom exercise would “produce compelling discussions in classrooms.”

“We want to encourage these kids and show them that they are capable of using Howard Armstrong and his success as a model,” Mesa said. The Campbell Culture Coalition also worked with the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park to host this video lesson on the ESRI ArcGIS StoryMaps Platform.

For more information, connect HERE. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/22/2021-6AM)