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January 23, 2003

FREE WORKSHOP HELPS PARENTS, EDUCATORS RAISE MEDIA SAVVY KIDS

LA CROSSE, Wis.— Did you know that an average 18-year-old will have viewed 200,000 acts of violence on television? That 81 percent of children ages 2-7 watch TV unsupervised? That the average American youth spends 900 hours per year in school but 1,023 hours per year watching television?

(Source: National Center for Children Exposed to Violence)

The statistics are staggering. Anyone paying attention to the news lately knows that the video games, music, television shows, movies, and Internet sites that children are exposed to often do more harm than good. Parents and educators alike have tried to take on Hollywood and the video and music industries and require higher standards but to no avail. How can we overcome these realities and raise media wise kids?

Viterbo University is offering a workshop designed to help parents and educators help children choose and use media wisely. "Turn On, Plug In, Boot Up: Strategies for Responsible Media Use" will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 in the FAC Lobby as part of "Through the Looking Glass: Media, Perception, & Reality," the annual humanities symposium. The event is free and a complimentary soup supper follows for those who are able to stay.
Viterbo University professors Bill Reese and Jana Dahmen will lead the workshop, which uses the award-winning PBS video, Raising MediaWise Kids  and materials from the National Institute on Media and Family.

Topics include:

  • Statistics on media use in the home and Internet and video game use.
  • Understanding media influence.
  • Parenting in an age of media.
  • Strategies for parents in creating a media wise home.

For more information on this workshop, or other talks in the week-long humanities symposium, contact Mary Hassinger, dean, School of Letters and Sciences, at ext. 3393.

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