Picture_26.pngPowerful Voices for Kids is a university-school partnership, developed by Renee Hobbs and Laurada Byers that explores the development of children's literacy in the 21st century.

Elementary educators explore how media literacy and technology can be used to promote communication skills, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking by participating in a professional development program.

More than 70 elementary children enrolled at the Russell Byers Charter School get the opportunity to develop their powerful voices through a month-long summer program with activities including: digital photography, drama and storytelling, film and media production and analysis, persuasion and debate, and multimedia and video composition. The program emphasizes:

  • Reading, writing, speaking and listening - the ability to communicate effectively using spoken and written language;
  • Expressive arts - the ability to express ideas creatively using music, body, storytelling, and drama.
  • The social responsibilities of a communicator - the ability to be responsible and ethical in one's role as communicator, including civility, online and real-world safety, respect for intellectual property and the ability to participate effectively in civic life;
  • Media and information literacy - the ability to critically analyze contemporary mass media and popular culture and to compose and create media messages using technology tools; and the ability to comprehend, find, use and evaluate information and use information technology tools to solve problems, for self-expression and to create new ideas.

We incorporate research into all aspects of our work, including qualitative and quantitative studies of learning by students and teachers.


Our Partners

Media Education Lab
Verizon Foundation
Russell Byers Charter School
Roberts Elementary School
National Writing Project

Team Members

Renee Hobbs
Kelly Mendoza
Ibrahim E. Bilici
Aggie Ebrahimi
Nuala Cabral
John Landis
LaShon Fryer
Henry Cohn-Geltner
Dave Moore
Angela Carter
Rachel Hobbs
Kristin Hokanson
Susan Houseman
Nicole Warncke