Media environments and the behaviors of young people have evolved. Youth are now exposed to more media from more sources at earlier ages. From TV to smartphones to social media, the lives of many children and teens are dominated by 24/7 media exposure.
Many media messages run counter to making healthy lifestyle choices. Social media posts may suggest drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are fun and harmless. TV shows and movies often depict sex and relationships unrealistically, giving youths unhealthy expectations for their own lives. This is why schools, community groups, and parents choose a media literacy approach for health education.
Our media literacy education programs help youth become aware of how media may influence the choices they make. They teach youth how to recognize the source, dissect the message, and uncover motivations, so they can evaluate the information. The programs also teach youth how to find medically-accurate health information, so they can make better-informed decisions. Also, we recognize the importance of parents and caregivers in promoting the health of their children and offer several media literacy education programs geared specifically for parents and families.