Thursday, November 21, 2013

Drug Free PA: Media Literacy and Prevention Seminar @DFPA

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Drug Free Pennsylvania hosted a Media Literacy and Prevention Seminar in October.
It was fantastic.
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This workshop was interactive and thought provoking. 
Our teacher, 
Renee Hobbs, was passionate about this subject.

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We talked about the way media influences children (and also grownups!)
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There are many dangerous messages that our children are presented with in the shows they watch and the music they hear.

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Alcohol use is glamorized in the media. Our children are presented with dangerous messages constantly.

"Young people learn about drugs through both their real life experiences and from vicarious images and stories they encounter in the mass media. By the time a teen hits age 18, he or she will have seen thousands of messages for alcohol, presented through attractive, fast-paced, humorous messages. These messages make beer drinking seem a normal part of social life, connected to sports activities, something that people of all ages and races partake in. But beer commercials don’t tell the whole story about alcohol use. Alcohol use endangers teens by leading to violence, driving accidents, and unprotected sex. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and nearly 60 percent of all fatal accidents involve alcohol."

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Taken from the Media Straight Up Website.

Have you heard the song Last Friday Night by Katy Perry? I have heard it and even sang along with the chorus a few times. Our teacher had us watch it with the lyrics. 

Here is the first stanza:

There's a stranger in my bed
there's a pounding in my head

Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ's passed out in the yard
Barbies on the barbeque

Watch it. You will be startled at the message. 

We looked at print ads such as this one for Captain Morgan:

and this one:

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We talked about who these ads are targeting and what message they are sending. 

It is important for everyone to talk about drug and alcohol use with the children in their lives. 
Schools in Cincinati, Ohio had a program for the high schoolers called
#yourlifeyourchoice where the students were encouraged to post pictures of things they were doing instead of drugs.

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The focus of Ohio's program was for students to tweet or share images on instagram about the good choices they were making instead of doing drugs. 

If you teach or work with teenagers, you can download the Media Literacy Curriculum for free at this link. I have used it with several of the teenagers on my caseload.
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I also plan to do some of the activities in the curriculum with Kaishon, Sabria, Naji and Jonathon this summer.

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Drug Free Pennsylvania is on facebook and twitter

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I think this quote sums up what I learned at this conference best: Over and over, the mass media reinforce the false belief that consuming products can take away all pain and stresses making you feel truly alive. But the media doesn’t often show us that the best ways to reduce stress and feel truly alive is not by consuming a product — but doing something meaningful, like being with people, learning, being creative, 
exercising, taking action in the world.

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Lindsey (or Paul) said...

My kids are still little, but the thought about having these conversations has already crossed my mind. Hooray for all of these programs!

Heather said...

Thought provoking and so much truth. We need to start teaching them while they are young.

ginabad said...

All the Captain Morgan ads freak me out. They are so creepy. I never thought about who they might be targeting with each out, good food for thought.

Lauryn said...

How incredibly eye opening. We see this everyday but when put like this it is really scary!

adventsadventures said...

sigh! Your so right! There is so much bad stuff out there for kids. we take the modium to bed with us at night. My kids never had phones until they started to drive and even then I turn them off at night. I can get them on the phone and they can get us but - no one else. It's so hard for parents there is so much out there trying to get there hands on our kids. I really don't think kids want these messages. Don't you think raising your family in a church is important too. I wish we were brave enough to say that in our schools. I know when I was a kid - I was a good kid but! if my mother did catch me all way okay. My kids have been brought up knowing . . . mom may never know what you did but, HE will always know what's going on. So if you die doing it be ready to tell God why you did it. I know it's deeper then that but, ((for now)) my kids are good kids at 21, 19, 16 and 7. . .so much better then I was. :) Thank God! and we have always had one T.V. in our bedroom. No one watches it. . . :) I love this message Becky. When I read it I am reminded of a boy that died last year because of drinking and driving. I see his father at daily Mass. Some days this father says after Mass and weeps. IT's terrible. I'm so sad for him and his family. xoxo, lisa

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} said...

That song by Katy Perry IS horrendous.... as are so many popular songs these days. I just cringe sometimes. This seminar looks great. And as always, your photos are stunning.

Mommy Entourage said...

As a mom to younger kids, I am glad I haven't had to have this conversation yet. But I am prepared to do so when the time comes!

Tracy P. said...

Awesome post, Becky! Thanks for sharing your passion with us. LOVE those beautiful kids!

Carrie said...

Wow. I never really stopped to think about the messages in our media like the ones you shared. Sometimes an ad makes me stop and think, but typically I guess we get so used to being bombarded by the messages we stop to think about what they MEAN. Thanks for sharing this with me so I can have meaningful talks with my kids as they get older.