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Contributed by Ari Kissiloff on 06/20/2013
On Saturday April 20, Sox Sperry, Program Associate at Project Look Sharp, hosted a workshop entitled “From the iPad into the fire: Engaging citizens to address climate change using the tools of media literacy” at Ithaca’s own, Cinemapolis. This workshop was part of the regional Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference, which aimed to get local businesses, colleges, nonprofit organizations, and much else of Tompkins and Cortland counties involved in the conversation about climate change.
Sperry’s workshop focused on bringing a critical lens to media’s portrayal of climate change and the environment. Together, Sperry and workshop participants engaged in discussions and analyses of disparities amid media perspectives, thoroughness, and financial interests. The resources featured in Sperry’s workshop were Project Look Sharp’s Media Constructions of Sustainability: Finger Lakes, Media Constructions of Sustainability: Food, Water, and Agriculture, and Media Construction of Global Warming curriculum kits. In all, about 40 individuals attended the workshop.
In a personal statement from Sperry, he avowed that “It was an honor to participate with so many community leaders who are helping Tompkins County to deal honestly and effectively with the enormous challenges of ‘climate disruption,’ a term preferred by many in attendance over ‘climate change.’ It’s heartening that so many people in our community are becoming active and engaged with this key challenge of our time.”
After the workshop, it was made apparent that the community will remain active about these pressing concerns. In conversations with Sperry himself, a number of attendees expressed that they plan to use media literacy education as a new tool in their own community education about climate change.
With over 40 years of experience teaching and educating individuals about peace and social justice, Sperry enjoys sharing his knowledge with the public. He often hosts workshops and discussions on the importance of media literacy in today’s educational system, and is passionate about increasing media literacy awareness across the country. His current position as Program Associate with Project Look Sharp has enabled him to author and co-author many of the free, online curriculum kits available to educators throughout the nation.
Project Look Sharp now has 20 media literacy kits that include detailed teacher guides and lessons for classroom decoding of historic documents. These kits have been specifically made for K-12 classrooms and the college level courses. All kits are available free online with hard copy kits sold at cost through the Ithaca College bookstore.
For more information, please contact Media Outreach Intern Abigayle Piechnik at