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Birchview Elementary School Presents Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™

February 1, 2012


Birchview Elementary School Presents Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™

Plymouth, MN – Birchview Elementary School will host a community celebration honoring four Birchview community elders at the Birchview Elementary School gymnasium on Thursday, February 10, 2011, from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ community celebration will be hosted by America’s Troubadour, Larry Long, and is free and open to the public.

Long has been working in partnership with the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) to provide the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ process for schools that are members of the WMEP consortium. Recently, Long has been working with students at Birchview Elementary School to collectively write songs and gather recitations that honor the life stories of the following community elders:

  • Jack Gause: Navy veteran, commercial diver, and wrestling icon who has lived in Plymouth for over 50 years.
  • LaDonna Hoy: Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners.
  • Yakao Yang: Hmong native from Laos who came to America to provide better opportunities for his family.
  • Benjamin Akhigbe: Nigerian native who is a business owner and building contractor.
  • Contact Information:
    Larry Long, Executive Director
    Community Celebration of Place
    3357 – 36th Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55406

    Principal Tom Koch
    Birchview Elementary School
    425 Ranchview Lane
    Plymouth, MN 55447


    Larry Long, called "a true American Troubadour" by author Studs Terkel, has made his life work the celebration of American stories and heroes. In a curriculum called Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song™, he has brought these heroes to the classroom to share their oral history with our younger generation. A Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, Larry has sung at major festivals, concerts and events throughout the U.S. and internationally. Long is a recipient of the prestigious Bush Artists Fellowship, the Pope John XXIII Award and In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities. (www.larrylong.org)

    Founded out of demand for Long’s work across the country, Community Celebration of Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses oral history, music and art to strengthen communities and foster reconciliation. For more information visit www.communitycelebration.org.

    The West Metro Education Program (WMEP) School District was formed in 1989 to cooperatively address integration issues in the west metro area. The mission of WMEP is to build the collective capacity of its members; to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support.
    Member districts of WMEP are: Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony/New Brighton, St, Louis Park, and Wayzata. (wmep.k12.mn.us)

Save Our History!

Give to the Max Day 2015: Give to the Max Day 2015


My heartfelt thanks to Larry Long and all the voices from which our history continues to generate encouragement, enthusiasm and wisdom.

Arlo Guthrie, Songwriter, Son of Woody Guthrie

Read more

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During 2016, it is a primary program of Community Celebration of Place to transfer their collection into archives that will be open to the public for generations to come.

Popular "Prairie Home Companion" Guitarist and Songwriter Pat Donohue and Gospel Singer Tonia Hughes Join Larry Long and Robert Robinson at The Dakota For Two Shows November 20

In celebration of Give to the Max Day 2015, Larry Long will be performing songs written in honor of elders with community members. Larry’s performance will capture the many cultures of Minnesota. All proceeds from his performance will go to Community Celebration of Place.