Creating the Community Aware Through Technology is a program that gives students the tools to look deep into their surrounding communities to identify many age related social problems. These social problems will serve as the inspiration for the students’ media projects. Once these community problems have been identified, participants will use the democratic process to vote for their favorite subject topic. This democratic voting process is a key component to keeping the media projects student driven. Once the topics have been chosen the staff at Youth Speak Out International will guide the students through the research process. Students will use local libraries and internet access to explore the topics of interest and find information that goes beyond what they have access to at school or in their local communities. This research is highly engaging and will tap into the participants’ fluency with 21st Century skills. It also provides the opportunity for students to decide if the information is reliable and news worthy. Creating the Community Aware will create new opportunities for youth to grapple with social norms, explore interests, develop technical skills and experiment with inquiry based learning.
A Community forum is held at the culmination of each program. This forum gives students the opportunity to present their finished media projects to each other, family, friends and professionals within their community. The preparation for this forum focus on public speaking skills, proper presentation of the written word and physical presence, which allows for better performance in front of a large audience. This opens dialogue between students and adults regarding social problematic issues within their communities. A youth panel is formed for a question and answer (Q&A) session. Audience participants are encouraged to reflect on the media presented to form intelligent questions to be addressed by the student media creators. This forum provides an opportunity to inspire social change by enabling viewers to see first hand the diversity within their community.
To date this program has educated more than 2,250 students.
” I have been bullyed this year in school. Now I know how to protect myself. I learned alot about bullying. Thank you. ”
Elementary School Student, (10 years old) West Palm Beach,Florida, USA
“I’m very proud of my daughter for completing your program. She now understands the media and how to react to it.”
Local Parent, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA