By Sarah Galligan

   This week was the first week in which my Senior Capstone course, Mediated Communication Theory, joined forces with the kids at Davis Commons Afterschool Program to begin a semester of media literacy workshops and activities. Through this semester-long project, my peers and I will be both studying the theories of mediated communication in addition to teaching students, ages from 7 to 16, the fundamentals of media literacy. The first week is focused on building a partnership and getting to know the students of Davis Commons.

       The media literacy program this semester runs on three separate days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each week the facilitators, or the students from the Mediated Communication Theory course, will discuss a different topic. Tuesday’s group of facilitators will introduce the topic of the week. Wednesday’s facilitators will follow up with a more specific lesson plan on a more specific sub-topic for that particular week’s focus. And lastly, the Thursday facilitators will also teach a lesson plan that delves into a specific sub-topic pertaining to the theme of any given week, and these facilitators will provide conclusions to that week’s general topic.

       This first week was merel a meet-and-greet to familiarize the students at Davis Commons with the Stonehill media literacy facilitators. Each group came prepared with several different icebreaker games designed to engage the students in the course. Thursday’s group introduced the camera to the students and reviewed the concepts of production. This was done because the end of the semester capstone project will be delivered in a video format based on the work done at Davis Commons, thus many of the classes with the students will be filmed. Also, a survey of the students’ media consumption was taken in order to gain a better understanding of the youths’ media habits.  Specifically, this provided valuable information about what media the students consume, why they choose to watch and listen to what they do, what they find favorable in their media diet, etc.  By having this information, we are better equipped to create interesting and relevant lesson plans for the Davis Commons kids this semester.  All and all, week one effectively introduced the course to the Davis Commons students and established the semester objectives for the Media Literacy Partnership between the Stonehill students and the Davis Commons students.