Youth camp teaches media literacy

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Zachary Riggins - University of

Kimberly Bissell, director of the Health Communication Research Lab. (Photo Courtesy of UA News)

Bissell said the camp’s true mission, if nothing else, is a community service effort to help kids see how to make healthy choices and become more attuned to how powerful a role the media can play in health and wellness.

“If you teach them to be more aware of these decisions – whether it is health, food or exercise – if you teach them now instead of five or six years down the road, it resonates with the kids,” said Kim Bissell, director of the Health Communication Research Lab. “If you can put [learning] in the context of games and having fun, it can put a whole different outlook on it.”

The campers will learn how to correctly read nutrition labels, find the true meaning of food advertisements and discuss how these promotions are perceived by ?children, she said.

A team of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students will lead the camp. Perrin Lowrey, a junior majoring in psychology, is interested in the physiology of psychology and will administer a heart rate monitor as an activity for the campers.

“I’m interested to see how different sorts of media influence kids’ behavior, I think, especially because they are so impressionable, and a lot of the media exposure that they have is unregulated by various ?sources,” Lowrey said.

Parrott said media literacy is one of the major topics that will be discussed with ?the children.

“What we mean by that is getting them to be savvy media consumers – getting them to be critical media consumers,” ?he said.

Children in grades kindergarten to those who have graduated the fifth grade are encouraged to attend. Parents may register their children for free sessions on July 14th to July 17th from either 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. To learn more about registration details, contact Kim Bissell at 205-348-8247 or kbissell@ ua.edu.