By Gabriella Strnad (Communication Studies Major, ’16)

As a senior Communication Studies student, it essentially became my educational responsibility to understand what it means to be “media literate.” But how many people outside the academic setting understand what these words mean? How many people in our own community of Orange have a real grasp of what it means to be “media literate?”

Media literacy involves understanding the motivations behind different media content, and how those motivations can affect you as a viewer. Essentially, to be media literate means to be an accomplished “reader” of media. With the pervasive nature of media today, being able to read between the lines is a skill that every person deserves to be capable of.

The program is FREE and is held at the Orange Public Library

Course for Caregivers of Children 0-4 Years

  • Session 1: Friday, October 16th 10:30am – 12:00pm
  • Session 2: Friday, November 6th 10:30am – 12:00pm

Course for Caregivers of Children 5-10 Years

  • Session 1: Tuesday, October 13 6:00-7:30pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday, November 3 6:00-7:30pm

When Dr. Tukachinsky approached fellow classmate Katie Ashby and I about developing a media literacy project specifically for parents, we weren’t sure how to approach the topic. We’re college students, not parents. How could we possibly translate our knowledge without seeming superior?

Working in spurts of twenty-minute office sessions and countless off-campus hours, Dr. Tukachinsky, Katie and I slowly began to build a program that not only educated parents of Orange about media literacy, but did so in a way that was non-invasive, interactive, and most of all: fun! Our team now consists of eight students working under Dr. T’s leadership to produce a project that connects Chapman to the community and promotes positive media habits.

The goal of our program is simple: to walk parents through the steps of becoming media literate in a way that is easy to incorporate into their daily lives. We understand that every family is different and may have different opinions and perceptions about media use for their children. We are not attempting to change these opinions. Our aim is to merely provide research-based evidence on how children are affected by media and tools parents can use to remedy these effects as they see fit. We want parents to feel in control of the media they provide for their children, not the other way around.

Being a part of this project has been one of the most rewarding points of my Chapman career. It has been challenging and stressful at times, but I am confident that we have created a program will genuinely and positively impact the Orange community. It is our hope that these sessions are only the first of many to come. Media is something that affects each and every person, and we are so excited to deliver a presentation that brings together Chapman and the community. The program is FREE and is held at the Orange Public Library. Come and check it out!

The Team: Dr. Riva Tukachinsky, Katie Ashby, Rylee Boland, Annie Bosch, Whitney Carroll, Jimmy Johnson, Katie Smith, Gaby Strnad, and Karrine Van Heuven