Teaching media literacy skills since 2001
In 2000, Rona Zlokower created MediaSmart with Selma Deitch, MD, founder of Child Health Services, to address the increasing influence of media on children’s health and behaviors. In 2007, the program became its own non-profit entity named Media Power Youth (MPY).
Since MPY’s founding, we’ve witnessed the growing influence of media and media technologies in the lives of youth. In response to this media-saturated environment, we’ve been compelled to help children and their parents and teachers understand and make healthy decisions about media’s effect on violence, bullying, alcohol use, smoking, and food choices. As media have moved beyond print, movies, TV, music, and gaming to social media in all its forms, media are increasingly active participants in our children’s lives; providing the tools for them to communicate with each other and the world around them. We believe that media education helps youth make the connection and distinction between media messages and impact and their own lives and actions.
Media Power Youth (MPY), a nonprofit leader in media literacy education, empowers youth to lead safe, healthy lives through smart use of media. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, we collaborate with community partners to provide evidence-based media literacy programs and resources for youth, parents, and professionals. Our goal is to provide a continuum of media literacy education from early childhood through young adulthood, contributing to healthy, safe use of media and prevention of at-risk behaviors. We do this by providing hands-on training across the state of New Hampshire, evidence-based curricula, and online training in for educators and youth service providers.
Media Power Youth’s efforts to bring media literacy education across the state of New Hampshire and the northeast has made amazing progress within the time and resources made available to it.
We became the first New Hampshire organization to be listed on SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), representing over ten years of tireless curriculum development, implementation and evaluation by our small but highly effective organization. Now we’re leading the charge to provide quality media literacy education training to educators across the country through state of the art online training modules.
Children need 21st century media literacy skills both for healthy development and to achieve success in school, relationships and careers. Our health-focused media literacy education programs directly address the disparities in access to media literacy, health, and prevention education in early learning environments and school and after school community settings. At all levels, our students are taught skills to produce their own positive media messages and to safely and responsibly interact with media.
Thoughtful and positive media use is linked to greater empathy, healthier choices, more connectedness, better conflict resolution skills and improved academic performance…
Our success in achieving national recognition as a leader in media literacy education is due to our dedicated, talented staff and evaluation team, and successful partnerships with school districts regional, state, and national organizations, businesses and foundations. We are proud to show that we can help children understand and use media to make healthy choices, and that media literacy education is not only important to us but to the many schools and communities we partner with.