Raise Awareness, Raise Our Voices, and Make A Difference
The kids at the very beginning of this story echoed the cynicism we encounter, raised our awareness of the truth that we CAN make a difference. The children called on viewers to raise their voices and then go out and make a difference. Our goal at Reach And Teach is to help spread that kind of awareness, empower people to raise their voices, and then go out and make a difference. The first and often most important thing is knowing that we can truly create change. But sometimes, before we can do that, we have to believe in ourselves.
Shaping Youth: Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open a magazine, head to the theater, and the messaging aimed at children is overwhelming. You're no good unless you look a certain way, act a certain way, eat certain kinds of foods, consume, consume, consume... These messages are anything but empowering. ShapingYouth.org is working to flip those messages.
Here's how founder Amy Jussel describes their mission:
Shaping Youth's mission is to shift negative influences of pop culture to a healthier worldview for kids.
We're implementing innovative programs for parents and kids (via film, web, mobile, hands-on education, & enrichment) to build awareness and promote healthier values by using the power of the media turned on itself.
Our self-funded, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization changes the channel of influence using entertainment tactics to impart informal learning three ways:
1.) Embedding positive behavioral cues inside media itself (pilot testing within virtual worlds, social media, gaming, mobile media)
2.) Eliciting content accountability/change from industry producers (advocating via social media on Twitter, blog, multi-channel platforms w/partners etc.)
3.) Counter-marketing harmful messages with media literacy (instilling awareness, critical thinking and vital youth inquiry via fun, hands-on "M-power" edu-game format)
Reach And Teach shares many of ShapingYouth.org's posts because we believe that media literacy is one of the keys to empowering people, young and old, to believe in themselves for who they are, not who they ought to be based on the latest commercial. And we know for a fact that when people come together and demand change, even from the most powerful media forces, change can and does happen. The web site is a treasure trove of information, incredibly well researched and compellingly presented. Click here to visit the site and then bookmark it!
Kids can make a difference, but it is up to adults to create an environment in which kids can flourish and diiscover each of their unique talents, and apply themselves to their passion. Please help spread the positive news that our money and efforts are making a difference. Share this post with friends and family on Facebook, tweet about it, email it to folks around the block and around the world. AND, please tell us about great resources, organizations, stories, that also need to be amplified so that together we can continue to transform the world through teachable moments.