Sunday, September 7, 2008

Black Youth and Media Influence

"Ensuring the future of the black male is critical, not just for African Americans, but for the prosperity, health and well-being of the entire American family." (Morial, 2007)  

Greetings Visionaries,

In April 2008, I conducted a research study with 23 African American high school dropouts & youth at risk of giving up on their education, (male and female, ages 14-21) on Media Influence. I also implemented a culture-specific, media literacy-based intervention curriculum entitled, "The HOPSCOTCH Element", with the same population. When promoting the study earlier this year, many of you expressed an interest in receiving the results. I am now able to provide a final copy of the study for you. 

The title of the study is, "52% DO NOT GRADUATE: EXAMINING MEDIA INFLUENCE ON THE VANISHING INNOVATORS OF OUR NATION". I've included the abstract below. A bound copy with accompanying HOPSCOTCH Element sample curriculum, can be mailed to you for a donation of $45.00, including shipping and handling. In addition to printing and distribution costs, all donations support further research efforts and program implementation. Donations are not tax-deductible at this time. If you would like to place an order, please email me with interest. If you know someone who would be interested in this information, please spread the word.

Additionally, if you are serving the population I am targeting and would like me to pilot the HOPSCOTCH Element, I would be honored to work with your youth.  Email me and let's schedule a time, free of charge.

Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks in advance for your support.

In service,

Shani Byard, M.S.
Message Media Ed. - Innovators Uncovered

HOPSCOTCH ELEMENT - A Mixed Media Critical Thinking and Empowerment Series - RISE ABOVE THE NOISE

"Since new developments are the product of a creative mind, we must stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible" -- George Washington Carver


This is a Qualitative research study, created to examine the influence of the media (specifically TV and Music), on the self-image, purpose and potential of “at-risk” Black youth (ages 14-21). I also used a Participatory research design to support the concurrent and separate development of a cultural-specific, media literacy-based intervention program entitled, HOPSCOTCH Element (HE), aimed to address and resolve the social, academic and economic disparities amongst Black youth. Participants in this study either dropped-out of high school or are currently enrolled in an alternative or continuation secondary school (as the result of multiple suspensions, expulsion or involvement in criminal activity) and have been labeled or diagnosed “at-risk” or “special needs” (due to disruptive behavior, poor academic performance and/or too many unexcused absences) by Los Angeles Unified School District or LA County Office of Education. Results from this study confirm all youth participants 1) are attracted to and large users of TV and Musical media, 2) believe media advertisers strongly influence teens, either negatively or positively, 3) feel they receive[d] inadequate education pertaining to their culture in school and express exigency toward learning more about their African and African American heritage. Additionally, the research and data collected from this study support a critical need for the HOPSCOTCH Element, which combines 1) Multi-Media Arts Education, 2) African American Studies and 3) Career Mentoring (the 3-Pronged Approach), to intervene the outdated academic instruction - currently practiced within the public school system - to engage and empower Black youth to excel. Long-term outcomes for this 3-Pronged Approach are to minimize the academic achievement gap, support the social advancement of Black youth and successfully diversify the workforce of the 21stCentury and beyond. I wish to encourage advocates for and organizations engaged in public school reform, and who are privy to the plight of Black youth and other minority youth, to consider Cultural-Specific Intervention programming using this 3-Pronged Approach as well.  

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