Safefood launches educational resource for primary schools

Pupils of St. Vincent de Paul Infant Schoolin Dublin, at the Safefood MediaWise launch
Pupils of St. Vincent de Paul Infant Schoolin Dublin, at the Safefood MediaWise launch

Safefood has launched a project titled Mediawise to teach children to evaluate, interpret and critique the many messages, promotions and adverts they are exposed to daily

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9 June 2017 | 0

Children are bombarded with hundreds of media messages every day, whether it’s advertising, commercial sponsorships, online gaming or social media. Research has revealed that children as young as three see upwards of 1,000 TV ads for unhealthy foods over the course of a year.

In response to this, Safefood has launched a project titled Mediawise, which will incorporate the promotion of health among children and teach them to evaluate, interpret and critique the many messages, promotions and adverts they are exposed to daily.

With research showing that children are unable to distinguish between content and marketing messages, MediaWise is designed to help children develop a greater understanding of what’s being suggested, promised and sold to them.

“The rapid evolution of technology and our appetite for it, means Ireland is a very media-centric environment, and media, in its many forms, plays an important role in our children’s lives,” says media analyst Sheena Horgan. “Because of this ubiquity, media literacy is an important and necessary contemporary life skill for children growing up in today’s Information Age. It’s also a requirement for full social participation and active citizenship.

“As parents, educators, organisations and as a society, we have a duty of care to our children to ensure that the dominance of contemporary media culture is of benefit to our children,” Horgan adds. “MediaWise is about empowering our primary school children to have an active and critical relationship with current and emerging media. A relationship that is based on understanding and self-confidence, that will benefit them as they progress through their childhood and into adult life.”

Primary schools can access their free copy of MediaWise online from September this year by visiting www.mediawise.ie where schools can register their interest in the resource.

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