Literacy Through Photography

Forest Girls Frame-sm One of the greatest things about photography is it’s ability to enrich the lives of folks young and old.

I’ve written here many times about photography’s benefits to adults (increased focus and attention, increased mobility, better overall mental and physical health, and the monetary rewards) but not much about it’s ability to benefit the young as well.

Recently I came across a website from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies that focused on a children’s program by photographer Wendy Ewald.

Ms. Ewald’s program,  Literacy Through Photography, is reaching out to children across the world -putting cameras in the hands of children and leading them to explore and express their surrounding through pictures.

It was heartwarming to read the stories of how much her students could learn and grow from the experience of taking photographs, many holding a camera for the very first time. Perhaps not so surprising to learn of how Ms. Ewald was learning new things right along with her students.

It has been my experience, and I’m sure most teachers would attest, the best way to really learn something is to teach it. Until you can look at something through another’s eyes you are only seeing one perspective. The echo that comes back from the student is the true measure of the effectiveness of teaching. Once received, that echo provides a sound basis for teaching the teacher through the new perspective gained.

I encourage everyone to pop on over to the Literacy though Photography website and follow the links there to stories of Ms. Ewald’s facinating adventures in bringing photography to children around the world. If you wish, you can also make a donation to help her in this great project as well.

Young or old, rich or poor, weak or strong, wherever you stand right now, photography offers you a vehicle to something even better. Pick up your camera now and begin to explore this wonderful world with the perspective only you can provide. The benefits are there for everyone.


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