Many media literacy entities exist to deconstruct, review, advocate, judge, critique, remix or warn about pop culture intake, but none of them actually counter-market the harmful messages directly in fun, fresh ways!
Our programs use kids’ entertainment trends and role play, flipped into educational demos where kids become the star, using critical thinking that helps show kids what they’re consuming in their minds & bodies. We turn it into a ‘reality show’ game format of hands-on participatory learning. A few examples?
- Fear Factor= Shaping Youth’s “Dare to Compare: A Gross Out Game for Good Nutrition” (Taste tests, chopping up food marketing, kids as junior ad execs)
- American Idol= Shaping Youth’s “Idolized” (Kids ‘vote up’ healthier role models/icons/idols)
- Survivor= Shaping Youth’s “Cliques & Tribes” (Simulates being ‘voted off the lunch table’ imparting social-emotional learning about bullying/relational aggression/coping skills)
From energy drinks/caffeine, sports drinks/sodium, sugary cereals/poor nutrition to early sexualization cues, ‘mean girl’ and ‘buffed boy’ stereotypes, objectification and behavioral norms, we use ‘counter-marketing’ tactics on the behavioral cues undermining children’s emotional and physical health. We update them often to keep abreast of the latest trends, shows and products in the marketplace impacting kids.
We also support “Using the power of media for positive change” for:
Embedding health education into prime time
Using mass media to uncork important conversations
Seeding storylines with behavior change narratives
Promoting social-emotional learning or citizenship inside children’s digital networks
Playing pro-social games for good to impart a larger worldview
Creating prevention apps and tech aids
Teaming health providers with entertainment properties to inspire active living
Embracing online tools to springboard offline actions, building community efforts
Championing change via outdoor billboards for awareness, advocacy, and action
And are eager to team with other innovators ready to align health and wellness, responsibility, accountability, and ethics to create a healthier worldview for us all.