Billed as a virtual “how-to” program for teaching media literacy to K-5 students, the Project SMARTArt web site showcases the results of a U.S. Department of Education-funded media literacy program at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Leo Politi Elementary School. The web site offers a wealth of educational resources at no charge, including professional development guides, sample lesson plans, and integrated classroom activities devoted to integrating media literacy into elementary curricula. The centerpiece of the program is the creation of a new guiding principle for media literacy education programs: that media literacy and the arts inform one another as disciplines for teaching and learning, and that these disciplines can be integrated with all other academic content areas while meeting state education standards. To help drive home this point, the web site features a replicable model that meets most states’ education standards for visual and performing arts and English language development, while providing downloadable tools designed to support sustainability. Project SMARTArt also provides training on how to create 30-second animation shorts for both teachers and students. The pilot project was funded by ED and the National Endowment for the Arts and was carried out by a partnership that included the Center for Media Literacy, LAUSD, the Music Center’s Education Division, and AnimAction.

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