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.
We’ve worked with more than 8,000 youth in the last 10-plus years, and the results are clear: their understanding of how media affects them increases significantly, and self-esteem and action-taking goes up too.
Our Programs Turn Education Into Action
In the San Francisco Bay Area, we typically deliver our programs in person. If you live elsewhere, we can either train you to deliver our programs and curriculum, or arrange for online program delivery.
Many schools 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 we can come in on specific days over the course of several weeks. This immerses the girls in our teachings, and then galvanizes them to take action.
Most of our programs are for girls. And we always include anyone who identifies as a girl or who is gender-nonconforming or questioning.
The Rest of the Story
Our Programs Meet Educational Requirements
Grounded in Positive Youth Development principles, About-Face programs focus on skill-building by engaging students in open-inquiry discussions around the cultural messages that are most relevant to them. This allows us to fill the gap that many schools struggle with in their efforts to ensure students get media-literacy skills that will prepare them for their futures.
Further, all About-Face programs incorporate the core principles of media literacy developed by the National Association for Media Literacy Education. So, many aspects of our programs help satisfy requirements in the Common Core’s Health and Wellness requirements, as well as those in History and English.
Beyond those 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. And this is exactly what we do at About-Face.
We use the media students are using now and examples from our culture that resonate with them personally, which engages them in the program more fully. That is, we tailor all program content to participant interests, demographics, and media use. Then, we introduce the idea of action-taking and activism to make change in ways that are authentic to them. Longer programs include more activism training and tools.