The Consortium for Media Literacy addresses the role of global media in citizenship, education and health through the design and delivery of research-based implementation programs for youth, educators, parents and adults.
To build a body of research-based programs demonstrating that media literacy is an effective intervention strategy for encouraging citizen engagement, improved literacy and better health.
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Project Director and Founder
Tessa Jolls founded the Consortium for Media Literacy, a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), in 2008 to address testing and implementation of new research-based curricula. Working in diverse topical areas such as nutrition education, violence prevention and gender representation, Jolls has applied the CML MediaLit Kit framework, showing how the framework can be integrated throughout a school curriculum while meeting state education standards.
This builds on her previous work with managing programs such as Project SMARTArt and Smoke Detectors! Project SMARTArt, a joint effort of the CML, Los Angeles Unified School District’s Leo Politi Elementary School, the Education Division of the Music Center of Los Angeles, and AnimAction, Inc., was one of the first federal grants offered in 2001-2005 for the field of media literacy education and was funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Currently, she is engaged in testing a new interactive curriculum addressing nutrition, as well as the launch of a new violence prevention-media literacy curriculum piloted with more than 3,500 middle school students in seven Los Angeles-area school districts. During 2009, she helped schools in the U.S. and Peru design pre-K-12 media literacy programs which integrated media literacy throughout the curriculum.
She co-authored the CML MediaLit Kit™ books, Literacy for the 21st Century and Five Key Questions that Can Change the World, and articles for the Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education and American Behavioral Scientist. In addition, Jolls recently completed “Media Literacy: A System for Change,” which addresses a systematic way to develop K-12 curricula using CML’s framework for media literacy; and “The Connection of Technology to Character Education,” which is part of a monograph to be issued by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
Jolls serves on the Advisory Board for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Media Arts Initiative, and as media literacy advisor for Medios Claros in Peru and the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy. CML is a Professional Development Affiliate of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Earlier in her career, Jolls consulted and published in the organization development/change management fields, working with the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) and as a regional practice leader with Towers Perrin, an international consulting firm specializing in human resource management. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband live in Los Angeles, and have a combined total of six children.
Communications Director and Editor, Connections
Beth Thornton joined the Consortium for Media Literacy in 2008. Her primary focus is to ensure that resources are communicated and accessible to a wide audience of teachers, administrators, parents and policy makers. She edits Connections, the Consortium’s newsletter with MediaLit Moments and teams with writers, web developers and graphic designers to support the Consortium’s efforts via web and print materials.
Thornton has held management positions in the communications field for more than 20 years, primarily in the medical device industry where her responsibilities included production of educational training materials for doctors and nurses in a variety of formats and languages. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and also completed a two-year Writers’ Program in Creative Writing through UCLA Extension. She has recently taken an interest in videography and film editing.
Thornton lives with her husband and children in Santa Barbara, California.
Stephen Shaw provides technical consultation for the Consortium’s web site and programming issues. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
The Consortium for Media Literacy is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) and is governed by the SEE Board of Directors.