AT-RISK YOUTH LEARN DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
It’s the end of Media Literacy Week, a time created by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) that encourages critical examination of media and its role in education. Media plays a large role in the lives of youth, who are a heavily targeted demographic for advertisers. We want our young adults to be aware of the media’s influence in their lives as well as the power they have to create their own media. To protect our youth and encourage media literacy education, we started a three-week media literacy seminar series called Connect Smart.
The seminar series consists of three hour-and-a-half classes and aims to teach kids in our Alternatives for Youth (AFY) program how to be good digital citizens, or how to use media and technology responsibly. AFY diverts youth from the juvenile justice system and provides crisis intervention, mentors, and educational group activities. The first seminar, which launched yesterday, November 3rd, explored the role of visual advertising and mass media’s portrayal of youth. The following classes will focus on healthy online relationships, sexting, and connecting through social media.
Our Connect Smart group is led by Cassandra Huneke, our Special Events Coordinator. Cassandra is currently completing her Masters in Media Studies at The New School University in New York City, is a member of NAMLE, and is professionally trained in media literacy education.
“Media literacy education is vital to our youth’s development, especially at-risk teens,” said Cassandra. “Americans are exposed to up to 5,000 ads per day. It’s important for our youth to apply critical thinking to the content they see and create in order to fully understand their role as media consumers and producers.”
To learn more about our Alternatives for Youth program, click here.
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Cassandra Huneke was the Special Events Coordinator for EAC Network. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in English and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Media Studies at The New School University in New York City.