More school districts join NLP’s fellowship program to advance news literacy education

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 25, 2023 – The News Literacy Project, the nation’s leading provider of news literacy education resources, is teaming up with three additional school districts for its News Literacy District Fellowship program, which helps school leaders across the country design and implement initiatives for news literacy instruction.

Bloomfield Hills Schools in Michigan, the Cornell District in Pennsylvania, and the Gunnison Watershed District in Colorado this school year are joining five other districts already in the program, which brings together experts from NLP and the schools involved to create district-wide news literacy education plans.

“Following a rigorous nationwide application process, these districts distinguished themselves through their dedication to equipping students with essential news literacy skills, ensuring they become engaged and well-informed contributors to our civic life,” said Shaelynn Farnsworth, who oversees the fellowship program for NLP.

About the fellowship

The two-year fellowship provides districts with $10,000 each year. It launched in 2022 to meet several pressing challenges. Educators increasingly need skills and resources to effectively teach media literacy. And while more states and districts pass policies or laws requiring media literacy instruction, school leaders need help implementing requirements in systemic, meaningful ways.

In the first year of the fellowship, school leaders receive guidance from NLP to develop a sustainable plan for news literacy instruction across their district. That could mean building a continuum of news literacy courses across grades K-12, training educators in effective news literacy instructional practices or creating classroom materials that meet the developmental and cultural needs of students.

In year two, NLP provides guidance as districts implement their proposals.

Five districts are already in their second year of the fellowship:

  • Las Cruces Public Schools in New Mexico
  • Iowa City Community School District in Iowa
  • Canyons School District in Utah
  • North Salem Central School District in New York
  • Greater Albany Public Schools in Oregon

“Las Cruces Public Schools is establishing a news literacy culture through secondary English and social studies courses to help students become better consumers of media. We want our students to learn that all information is not equal and prepare them so they can fulfill their roles in a democratic society,” said Joel Hutchinson, an English language arts content specialist for the district who also is a fellow in the program.

About the News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.