Jan-Mar 23 Movement Building Update

Movement Building

As you may know, NLP is the leading provider of free news literacy programs and resources for students and adults. Now, we are leveraging our expertise and reach to build a national movement for a more news-literate America. To make this happen, we want to see media literacy established a graduation requirement, a priority for educator professional learning and a valued skillset for news consumers of all ages.

Read below to keep track of our progress in this area and learn about the steps we are taking to move closer to our vision of news literacy as an integral part of American life.

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Movement Builders in the Field

NLP’s district fellows and news literacy ambassadors are making strides to create groundbreaking shifts in education, bringing news literacy into communities across the country.

News Literacy District Fellowship program

NLP’s program unites district leaders to build a sustainable and actionable plan for news literacy education implementation in their districts. During their two-year commitment to this program, fellows perform a needs assessment and identify the grades and disciplines in their districts best suited for news/media literacy integration. They then work with NLP to create a scalable implementation plan.

  • In February 2023, the inaugural cohort of district fellows gathered for an in-person retreat in New Orleans. NLP’s educator engagement team — including Ebonee Rice, senior vice president of educator engagement, and Shaelynn Farnsworth, senior director of education partnership strategy — met with 12 fellows to review their assessments and action plans.
    • During this retreat, the group shared the results of its assessments, which identified the grades and disciplines best suited for news/media literacy lessons. The fellows also drafted action plans for news literacy education implementation in their respective districts.
    • One district fellow told us: “We wanted to thank NLP leadership, you and your team for an amazing learning opportunity in New Orleans. The experience of meeting with the dedicated educators in other districts was the highlight of our weekend. We brought back many ideas from our collaboration with them to Canyons (Canyons School District, Sandy, Utah) and have begun integrating those ideas in our existing and planned news literacy professional development modules…As a result, we have been able to strengthen the foundation of our commitment to news literacy instruction across the district and to really solidify our communication about the importance of news literacy to our stakeholders.”
  • The application for cohort two of the District Fellowship program is live and available now! Current public school district leaders, administrators or curriculum directors who are ready to take action to embed news and media literacy education into their districts are welcome to apply. And while the application is open to school districts in all states, NLP is hoping to secure fellows from the following states: California, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Alabama. Read and share the full application with your circle!
Ambassador Updates

The News Literacy Ambassador Program supports local community organizing efforts to fight misinformation and pursue a mutual objective of creating a more news-literate generation of news consumers. Connect with an ambassador near you for events, presentations and to discuss the unique needs of educators in your school district or region.

  • NLP ambassador happy hour events provide an opportunity for current ambassadors to champion news literacy and recruit new educators to join NewsLitNation®, NLP’s nationwide network of teachers, librarians and administrators that advocates for news literacy education. These events help to expand the reach of our platforms, resources and lessons to more students and school districts around the country.
    • In February, Texas ambassador Juan Alvarado hosted an NLN happy hour during the TCEA conference in San Antonio and recruited 48 new NLN members!
    • During March, ambassadors hosted five happy hours — in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania educators are working hard to ensure news literacy is a priority in their state!
    • There are currently 95 educators and nearly 4,000 students in Pennsylvania active on Checkology®.
    • Eight educators in the Pittsburgh Public Schools District are in our network.
    • Fifteen Southwest Pennsylvania school districts have news literacy educators in our network: AW Beattie, Avonworth, Central Valley, Chestnut Ridge, City CHS, Connellsville, Derry Area, Freedom, Hempfield Area, Mt. Lebanon, New Kensington-Arnold, Peters Township, Pittsburgh, United and West Jefferson Hills.
  • As the program expands, the search for new representatives has started! The group currently has 16 members, and NLP will add four new ambassadors from various states. And K.C. Boyd, the current Washington, D.C., ambassador, will take on the new position of national media specialist ambassador.
    • When the school year begins in fall 2023, NLP will have 20 ambassadors in 14 states: Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, California, Alabama, Florida and Iowa.
Partnership Spotlight
  • As we continue to cultivate our relationship with the Iowa Department of Education, we are excited that the Spencer Community School District will incorporate Checkology lessons in their high school curriculum.
  • Erin Olsen, NLP’s senior manager of education partnerships, was interviewed about the importance of news literacy on radio station KWMR’s community and public affairs show, Epicenter, which covers local issues and topics relevant to the West Marin, California, community. Tune into the conversation here.
  • NLP’s new Checkology lesson, “Harm and Distrust,” sparked many stimulating conversations about the history of racist reporting in mainstream media. One of those conversations was led by Brittney Smith, our senior manager of education partnerships (East) and included Brittany Hogan, a pioneering educational equity and diversity professional, and K.C. Boyd, library media specialist and NLP news literacy ambassador. Watch the recording to learn how educators tackle these topics in the classroom.
  • NLP will continue to strengthen its educator network through relationships with Sacramento County Office of Education, Ohio Department of Education, Atlanta Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education, Alabama State Department of Education, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Ohio Catholic schools and New Jersey Association of School Librarians.

Media Literacy Education Landscape: Updates and Movement Wins

Through a partnership with Media Literacy Now, NLP receives monthly reports with updates on all legislation and laws related to media literacy, news literacy and digital citizenship in each state and at the federal level.

Current Landscape Snapshot

We’ll keep you up to date on the latest district, state and federal media literacy education standards changes.

States mandating some form of media literacy education prior to graduation: Illinois, Texas, New Jersey.

States currently providing funding for media literacy education: Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, California, Pennsylvania, Utah, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Connecticut and Michigan.

States with statutes encouraging media literacy: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

Learn about media literacy policies in your state.

More Updates

‘It’s really muddying the waters’: NLP’s Covington on pink slime

Pink slime outlets pose as legitimate local news organizations, but they lack the ethical standards of trustworthy journalism. In a recent mLive article, Hannah Covington, NLP’s senior director of education content, weighed in on a pink slime newspaper circulating in Michigan and emphasized the need for news literacy skills to detect unreliable stories, especially ahead…

NLP in the News

New Jersey station highlights classroom using NLP resources

A recent NJ Spotlight News segment featured a middle school class at Princeton Montessori School in New Jersey, where News Literacy Project Ambassador Aish Sami uses free educator resources from NLP to teach a media literacy course. “My hope and dreams for the students when they walk out of the classroom is that they feel…

NLP in the News

Webinar: Introducing Camp Fact-Check

This free webinar for educators, presented by the News Literacy Project, explores virtual lessons and other resources that can be used to teach students fact-checking skills over the summer.