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Newhouse School to hold Media Literacy Day for local sixth-graders April 16

April 05, 2010

Nicole Krestos
(716) 560-1995

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications will host 65 sixth-grade students from the Syracuse City School District’s Edward Smith Elementary School on Friday, April 16, for Newhouse’s annual Media Literacy Day.

Sponsored by Newhouse’s Diversity Committee, the event serves to educate elementary school students about opportunities in the communications field.

“We’ve been doing Media Literacy Day since 2004,” says Tula Goenka, associate professor of television-radio-film and chair of the Diversity Committee. “Everyone knows about being a doctor, an engineer or a teacher, but we would like to show students that they can have careers in communications, too.”

Richard Rogers, a sixth-grade teacher at Edward Smith School, believes Media Literacy Day is a valuable learning experience for students. “It amazes me the number of media that students don’t consider,” he says. “They are quick to notice commercials on television that capture their eye, but fail to notice the many ads they are bombarded with as they surf the Web. This learning opportunity helps the students learn the ‘how’ and ‘why’ media operates as it does.”

The students will be welcomed at the Newhouse School at 9:30 a.m. and will then attend three workshops that will introduce them to advertising, newspaper journalism and television-radio-film. The Syracuse Post-Standard will donate 100 newspapers for the event.

Newhouse Ambassadors—current undergraduate students in the Newhouse School—will serve as hosts for the students. Participating ambassadors include Jennifer Cheng, Letecha Dixon, Sophia Montesdeoca, Alex Rogers, Ivory Denise Sherman and Xiu Qing Wu.

Participating Newhouse faculty members include Charlotte Grimes, Knight Chair in Political Reporting; Ed Russel, assistant professor of advertising; and Michael Schoonmaker, chair of television-radio-film.

Media Literacy Day has become a popular annual field trip for Edward Smith students, according to Goenka. Other schools from the Syracuse City School District have inquired about participating, and Goenka hopes to expand the event in the future.

For more information about Media Literacy Day, contact Goenka (315) 443-3376 or

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