Public libraries invited to seek $50,000 in training, support to help teens learn news literacy skills

Public libraries and library consortia are invited to apply for more than $50,000 in training and support, in the News Know-how initiative that helps  students, grades 10-12, learn skills that will help them  distinguish fact from opinion , check news and information sources and distinguish between propaganda and news.

Students work with librarians, journalists and news ethicists in the program funded by the Open Society Foundations and administered by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF).  Proposals must be submitted by Dec. 8, 2012. To apply, go to www.newsknowhow.org/apply

“In today’s mass media environment it is critical that students are taught to analyze news coverage,” said Barbara Jones, director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Through the support of the participating libraries, students will be encouraged to practice news literacy by engaging with the media in their communities.”

Libraries will receive several benefits, including:

  • more than $50,000 worth of training and support;
  • opportunity to provide a chance for young people to work and connect with highly respected journalists from around the country and become part of a national network;
  • a stipend to give to  each student who completes the project.

Libraries will:

  • recruit between 12-15 diverse students from the 10th-12th grades from your community who will most benefit from the program;
  • gain the students’ commitment to attend all of the approximately 25 hours of training during the summer 2013;
  • have the students commit to complete a team project (due by Thanksgiving 2013) that will require approximately 25 hours of outside work and foster civic engagement by having students share their work with their entire community;
  • participate (the library director/program manager) in a series of on-line trainings and conference calls;
  • provide training space and  logistical support as needed;
  • commit to the program’s requirements, timelines, and quality standards.

For more information, contact Barbara M. Jones, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. She can also be reached by phone, (312) 280-4222, or by email, at bjones@ala.org.

More information about the News Know-how program, visit www.newsknowhow.org.

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