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Storytelling

Ribbon on a typewriter with the words "stories matter" above

Parenting for Media Literacy: Storytelling and Power Matter

I used to teach a course on digital media, storytelling, and social change to college students in Minneapolis. One of our first field experiences every semester was to the artist studio of Minneapolis-based visual artist Ricardo Levins Morales. My students tended to be emerging filmmakers and media makers so many were surprised (and sometimes annoyed)…  Read More

Child smiling straight into camera.

How to Disrupt Gender Bias in Young Children

A single parent of a toddler sent me this message last week. “Figuring out how to participate in these movements for change during this pandemic with a young child is overwhelming. Most days we are just wrestling with screen time, Cheerios, and sharing toys. It’s so painfully mundane compared to what’s happening in the streets.”…  Read More

School librarian organized Camp Read Away at Seward Montessori in Minneapolis

Here’s Why You Should Thank Your School Librarian

The fire crackles and flickers onto the surrounding birch trees. Hanging lanterns transform the tents in front of me into glowing nests. Two signs point towards the nearest outhouses and children’s voices ring out through the air. As I describe this scene, you are likely picturing an adventure deep in the wilderness. But this past…  Read More

Child learning media literacy skills on his laptop

Media Literacy Matters

Children and youth today have the world at their fingertips. They can access libraries with the click of a button, download thousands of books on smart devices, and read newspapers from across the globe. While many young people may be physically separated by geography and/or socially separated by race or income, the Internet has been…  Read More

Teenager reading a book at a table

Books, Blogs and Teens: Raising Readers

“My son used to love reading when he was a little guy,” a mom recently lamented. “Now I honestly can’t remember the last time he read for fun.” This parent isn’t alone in expressing concern about her child’s waning interest in reading as he grows older. The latest reports point to steep drops in literary…  Read More

Toddlers and TV

Toddlers and TV: Zombies, Distracted, or Engaged?

“My kids constantly move from one activity to the next – except when it comes to toddlers and TV. Should I be worried when my 5 year old just sits and stares at the screen?” When TV was still a fairly new pastime for kids, researchers coined the term “zombie effect” to describe the glassy-eyed,…  Read More

Grandparent showing child a tree

Child Memory and Learning

Talking, Storytelling, and Other Memory "Scaffolding"

I wasn’t sure why my eighteen-month-old son Miles was squirming to get out of my arms, but he hit the kitchen floor running and was off to the far corner of the living room. We had just been looking at the big pot of soup simmering on the stove. I had pointed out the onions,…  Read More

Media Influence: “Whoever Tells the Stories Defines the Culture”

The power of stories We human beings come from a long line of storytellers. For many centuries our ancestors sat around campfires telling tales. Though the hearth of the kitchen table replaced the campfire for contemporary U.S. families, the storytelling didn’t stop. The stories came in all different sizes and shapes. Some recounted the news…  Read More