Our Teaching Objectives
A Backpack Journalist ™ has the following objectives for all our workshops and training events. To help youth by:
- Providing a creative method of expressing themselves to others
- Helping them communicate in an open and honest way
- Building self esteem
- Introducing them to other military youth with similar circumstances
- Opening up life opportunities beyond what they can see for themselves – real world experiences
- Providing academic support for journalism and photography
- Encouraging them to become their own life’s storyteller
- Preparing them for expanding their education in a new digital world
- Furnishing them fun and engaging activities
- Allowing them to get to know themselves and to find their voice!
- Become literate in the collection of news and how important fact-based reporting is.
Rewards & Outcomes
- Youth acquire effective tools to help them voice their frustrations and emotions through writing, music and other creative expressions “Finding one’s voice” can be through writing a simple essay, songwriting, verse (cowboy and free style) and photography. Our program is filled with options to allow any youth to accomplish this.
- Powerful connections are established among students and between students and their instructors that give these young people the reinforcement they need. For example, in the photography sessions, through the lens of a camera youth share themselves with others in the group, learn photography basics and the outcome includes portraits and environmental photos that they each have taken.
- Youth gain additional self-confidence and resilience they need to deal with difficult life issues. Dr. Medway’s review of the Backpack program confirms a 100-year psychological belief supported by research, that when one shares or talks about their concerns and issues that their mental health is greatly improved.
- Youth develop improved writing and critical thinking skills along with improved public speaking skills. For example, during the closing ceremony, all youth share their work!
- Youth gain an expanded understanding of technology: digital devices and applications. For example, Backpack has the latest software and digital technologies and the support of Apple®. Backpack’s digital lab was built through a grant and continues to be upgraded as new technology emerges.
- Youth begin to find their “self-esteem” and “voice” through the completion of their creative works. For example: Every workshop, where the 4 modules are combined, concludes with a closing ceremony where youth present the results of their work. Each one receives either a portrait printed and framed or a DVD of their printed work.
News Literacy is the obvious outcome of the COVER THE ASSIGNMENT module. The Youth understand the value of fact-based news and the necessary process required. This type of experience forms the foundation for continued engagement as a citizen supporting the freedoms that we have as Americans.
Social Media 101 is a necessary element of learning within News Literacy.