By Riva Tukachinsky, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor Department of Communication Studies)

As a university professor, most of my work involves creating knowledge (conducting research about media effects) and dissimilating existing knowledge to my students in the classroom. However, I was poignantly aware that this knowledge could be used to benefit many others who do not have the privilege of attending Chapman University. This semester, however, is different. Working with a select group of eight graduating seniors in the department of Communication Studies, our goal is to dissimilate knowledge from the ivory tower to those who need it most – the community.

These days, children are exposed to more media, from an earlier age, for longer time. From academic achievement to childhood obesity to sexuality and self-esteem, media can have so many critical implications, both positive and negative. Yet, ample of research, policy makers and lobby groups (including The Federal Communication Commission) have indicated not once that many parents are under-informed about many vital media-related issues that directly impact their children. The goal of the Chapman students’ lead workshop is to provide parents and caregivers with research-based tools to make the best media decisions regarding their children that fit their goals, values and lifestyle.

For the students, this is an amazing experience on several different levels. First, students have an opportunity for civic engagement. Second, this is a unique learning opportunity. Service learning involves translating their knowledge of theory and research into the real world. Such outside the classroom learning experience is the most important in developing both scholastically and civilly. Finally, students master and polish a variety of professional skills such as public speaking, evaluation of a community-based program and more.

Join us at the Orange Public Library for a free two-session media literacy class for parents and caregivers!

Course for Caregivers of Children 0-4 Years
Session 1: Friday, October 16, 10:30am – 12pm
Session 2: Friday, November 6, 10:30am – 12pm

Course fo Caregivers of Children 5-10 Years
Session 1: Tuesday, October 13, 6-7:30pm
Session 2: Tuesday, November 3, 6-7:30pm