Do you want your teenagers to know how media (and social media) affects them and what they can do about it? Do they need to break out of their social media overuse habits to be more mindful?
Our thought-provoking, non-judgmental programs are geared for teens throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.
“It was nice hearing about the benefits and harms of media in general from someone other than my parents. The whole workshop was super eye-opening.”Female, age 15
Education Into Action Programs for Youth
Intro to media decoding & resistance
Constructs of gender & other identities
Social Media Workshop
Focuses on issues related to social media
Social Media Workshop
Targeted ads, effects on teens, & thoughtfully using social media
Builds on Workshop with further action education
Exploration of gender, racial, class, & ability constructs
Create an action event
Builds on Lab
Youth lead their own action
Coaching for girls to create and execute their own action event
Need a program for adults? About-Face also does talks and trainings for adults who are advocates for youth (parents, teachers, and group leaders). Check it out here.
Topics We Discuss in Our Programs
Gender/gender expression/sexism perpetuated by media
Beauty ideals/body image
Race as a construct/racial stereotypes perpetuated by media
Youth-led activism and its importance for social change
Wellness and self-care practices around using media
We’ve worked with more than 8,000 youth in the last 10-plus years, and we assess and measure outcomes for the girls in our programs using rigorous statistical analysis and pre/post-program surveys.
In our analysis, About-Face has found statistically significant improvements for girls related to satisfaction with one’s appearance, reduced importance of looking like people in media, increased self-esteem and self-respect, and a decrease in behaviors such as dangerous dieting.
Where to Start
Many schools and organizations start with a single-session Education Into Action Workshop for students of all genders in the classroom and pair it with an Education Into Action Parent/Teacher Talk.
Other organizations, particularly those hosting girls* in an after-school setting, tend to opt for one of our longer programs (Lab or Boot Camp), where a Workshop Leader may come on specific days over the course of several weeks.
Most of our programs are tailored for girls. Note that we always include self-identified girls and non-binary youth in our programs.
“I love that we brought up topics that aren’t usually talked about.”Female, age 14
About-Face programs focus on skill-building by engaging students in open-inquiry discussions around the cultural messages that are most relevant to them. Media literacy is a 21st Century skill that youth need to have healthy futures.
Our programs are built around and satisfy the following requirements:
- Positive Youth Development framework
- core principles of media literacy developed by the National Association for Media Literacy Education
- select aspects of California state educational standards for health education
- select Common Core History and English requirements
Nearly every published research study on media effects on youth, including those from the American Psychological Association, recommends media-literacy education and advocacy training for young people to address harmful effects of mainstream media. That’s what About-Face does!
Most schools struggle to give their students sufficient media literacy education. About-Face fills the gap by providing experts in both media literacy and youth development and facilitation.
How We Do It
What makes About-Face different? In all our Education Into Action programs, we:
- use the media students are using now that resonate with them personally
- tailor all program content to participant interests, demographics, and information provided by teachers or parents
- we don’t tell youth what to think — we work to help them think for themselves (critical-thinking skills)
- introduce the idea of action-taking and activism to make change in ways that are authentic to them (self-efficacy)
Where We’ve Taught
About-Face has been leading interactive media-literacy workshops in Bay Area schools and communities since 2007, with an emphasis on the specific needs of young women. Check it out!
We’re excited to speak with you more so you can give your youth the media and action programs they need!
For more information, fill our our short form here or call Hénia Belalia, Director of Programs, at (510) 764-3618.