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Project Look Sharp Directors Invited Back to Turkey by U.S. Embassy to Promote Media Literacy Education

Contributed by Kelsey Greene on 04/16/19 

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For the second year in a row, Project Look Sharp directors Dr. Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry were invited by the U.S. Embassy in Turkey to teach educators and students best practices in media literacy throughout the country between March 7-13.

“Chris first came to Istanbul in March of 2018, followed by a visit to Ankara and Adana by Cyndy in May,” said RaeJean K. Stokes, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy Ankara. “Our contacts and local partners praised their initial sessions as informative and insightful, and wanted more. So recognizing this, the U.S Mission to Turkey invited the team to visit Turkey again.”

This year, Scheibe and Sperry gave the opening and closing keynote addresses for a media literacy conference at Annadolu University.

Scheibe, who teaches psychology at IC and serves as the Executive Director of the college’s media literacy program Project Look Sharp, delivered a series of presentations at multiple Turkish schools, including a 3-hour workshop at the Üsküdar American Academy and a conference in Istanbul where she was introduced by the headmaster as “a global force” for media literacy advocacy.  

“It was a real privilege to be invited by the U.S. State Department to give presentations to teachers, college students and high school students in several cities around Turkey,” Scheibe recalled of her experience. “Chris and I were warmly received everywhere, and we found both the educators and the students eager to take on media literacy approaches”.

Sperry, Project Look Sharp’s Director of Curriculum and Staff Development, gave nine presentations across South East Turkey, including a presentation on techniques for teaching media literacy at the nonprofit professional development organization ORAV. Sperry’s workshops focused primarily on teaching students and educators the importance of decoding all media messages for authorship, purpose, credibility and bias.  

“Turkish students and educators were excited to learn about critical thinking and embraced the imperative of teaching young people to thoughtfully analyze all media messages...educators were particularly excited to learn Project Look Sharp’s interactive and student-centered approach,” said Sperry.

The work done by the two directors came at a time where media literacy education is incredibly important, given the current political climate in Turkey. As Stokes further explains, “Like everywhere, disinformation is a big problem. But according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is also the world’s top jailer of journalists. So for us, partnering with Project Look Sharp has been a fantastic way to reinforce journalistic standards while also helping to identify disinformation.”

Contributing authors: Leighanne Sullivan & Kelsey Greene 

Project Look Sharp is an outreach program at Ithaca College that provides training and materials for K-16 educators to integrate media literacy and critical thinking into their existing curriculum. To learn more and stay updated, check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter @ithacalooksharp, or visit their website at

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