Look Sharp Goes National


Chris Sperry, a local social studies teacher and Project Look Sharp affiliate, led several workshops at the October conference for K-12 teachers.

Project Look Sharp, the center for media literacy based at Ithaca College, has received a one-time grant of $104,500 from an anonymous donor to produce curriculum packets linking media literacy and democracy. The project is being done in collaboration with the Center for Media Literacy in Los Angeles and GPN, a nonprofit distributor of educational materials. The two kits will deal with media coverage of the presidential elections and media coverage of the Middle East.

The elections kit is to be available to schools nationwide by the end of May 2004. Both curricula will have website components. "There's not anything out there like this," says associate professor of psychology and project director Cynthia Scheibe. "There are a lot of media literacy materials and a lot of curriculum pieces, but there isn't much that uses media literacy where the focus is the curriculum. We're using media literacy to teach about the wars in Vietnam and the Gulf."

In October Look Sharp hosted its first conference for teachers, students, and community members. Representatives from New York and New Jersey school districts participated in events featuring keynote speakers like Faith Rogow, president of the Alliance for a Media Literate America, and author David Considine. "This conference dealt specifically with K-12 education," says Scheibe. "We wanted to jazz people up and give them the tools, by providing a lot of information and examples from what we've been doing with English, social studies, math, and art teachers in this area."

Photo by George Sapio

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A. Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications, 11 March, 2004