Through Kids' Eyes

The history of childhood is a field that has grown up over the past several decades. There's a fascinating body of literature out there that tries to understand not only how childhood has changed over time, but how children's experiences have shifted too. One significant road block for us in knowing more about the history of kids, is that they were so rarely ever asked -- their voices in the historical record are rare.

Image description: A mid-century black and white photo of a young child with cropped hair using a cane and a prosthetic leg standing in the center of a classroom.

Source Info: This image comes from the French Clinic for Polio Victims, and can be found as part of the Photographs of Marshall Plan Programs, Exhibits, and Personnel, 1948 - 1967 series in the National Archives

One place where this has been disrupted, however, is in the history of epidemics--particularly polio. Since polio struck children far more than adults, stories from polio survivors often focus on childhood memories. This got the team at Beyond Better thinking--what if we asked kids now to tell us about their COVID19 experiences? What would we see or learn about the pandemic that we hadn't thought about yet? What might these resources do for historians in the future who want to unpack the lived realities of kids during the COVID19 shutdown?

If your kids are interested in participating, we would love to feature some of their experiences on our Instagram page and website. We would love to hear from you!

All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

(1) Download, print, and have your child fill out our brief kids' worksheet (click here).

(2) Make sure you provide the requested info on the front page of the form.

(3) Take a photo of their responses, and email it to us at info@beyondbetter.org.