Grassroots media to advocate, educate and encourage adults and youth to think and act differently. Voices of Hope Productions is a creative services and multimedia production company specializing in short and feature length documentaries, cause marketing, issue advertising, public affairs programming and media education. We work with corporations, nonprofit and government agencies to build brand identity through a wide-range of media and distribution options.

|THE EYE| is published regularly to announce the latest news about Voices of Hope films, programs, workshops, industry events and broadcasts. If your email is text only
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Citizen Schools runs after-school programs at 24 schools in 13 cities, staffed mostly by about 2,000 volunteer architects, attorneys, journalists, and other professionals who use their passions to inspire students. In 10-week apprenticeships, students work with volunteers to create market-quality products, such as Web sites. The group hopes to expand to 100 schools and 8,000 volunteers within five years. Citizen Schools deliver an outcomes-focused, hands-on educational program.

Citizen Schools believes it's time to re-imagine education in America by engaging whole communities in the learning process. It's time young people are caught at the critical point of early adolescence, when the gap between the educational haves and have-nots widens dramatically. It's time we education extended beyond the classroom and beyond the typical school day to include real and rigorous learning opportunities outside school. They feel growing the number of high quality organizations working with schools and communities increases young people's access to the American Dream. A Citizen School program is run at the McKinley Community School in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Global Youth Service Day April 21 - 23, 2006
Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is organized by Youth Service America with the Global Youth Action Network as its key partner and a consortium of international organizations and over 120 national coordinating committees in participating countries. GYSD is an annual global event that highlights and celebrates the contributions of youth to their communities through volunteer service.
During Global Youth Service Day, youth around the world organize community service projects to address local needs. Youth participate in GYSD to address the needs of their local communities through service, to be recognized for their contributions, and to be a part of a global youth service movement.

>>>A special ceremony commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week & the 10 Year Anniversary Rededication of the Deirdre O’Brien Child Advocacy Center
Wednesday, April 26
11:00 a.m. – Noon Morristown, NJ - RSVP: Email Sandi Mayer
Call: 973-285-6620

>>> SAVE THE DATE AIDS WALK 2006 Saturday, May 13
Reality of Hope-A 5k Fundraising Walk-a-thon, to meet the growing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in Northern New Jersey. Saddle River County Park, Ridgewood.


TEST YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SKILLS Ringling Bros. recently took out a full-page ad in The New York Times describing the ways it gives back including signature programs. One is CircusFit which states its interest in fighting childhood obesity and inactivity with the President's Council on Physical Fitness. Children can go online and test their physical and mental skills. Play Games


Blogs rule at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J. -- thanks to Will Richardson. Richardson, 47, was an English teacher for many years, but now he is the school's supervisor of instructional technology as well as the author of a new book on Web tools for the classroom. A pioneer educational blogger, he maintains a blog commonly cited by other teacher bloggers as their favorite. The school now has about 400 blogs, and its Web site is built on a series of blogs, he said. One of the blogs is called the Staff Web Lounge.

by Jefferson H. Han
Want to see the future of the touch screen? Jefferson Han and his colleagues have created a very cool screen interaction experiment. In a video you see a hand moving shapes and photos on a screen just as if they are being moved on a countertop. "We've been experimenting with a wide variety of application scenarios and interaction modalities that utilize multi-touch input information. These go far beyond the "poking" actions you get with a typical touchscreen, or the gross gesturing found in video-based interactive interfaces. It is a rich area for research, and we are extremely excited by its potential for advances in efficiency, usability, and intuitiveness. It's also just so much fun!"

>>>Read back issues of |THE EYE|

"The mark of a free mind and a free society is the ability to be critical of institutions and resist seductions of propaganda and advertisement. We need to teach our students that every citizen has a moral and civic obligation to deliberate, weigh evidence, and make informed judgments. So it is an essential task of educators to promote the skills of visual literacy that help us understand how we can be manipulated by images and seduced by media-generated virtual worlds. Newspapers could do a better job of presenting us with information and a variety of options, but they can never do our thinking for us." Sam Keen, Edutopia Magazine

Voices of Hope Productions recently attended the Northeast Media Literacy Conference at the University of Connecticut and interviewed 15 media educators for the film Analyze This! Message in the Media. Experts from across the country discussed media education in American homes and classrooms and shed some light on the current educational system:

“The problem I see with 'No Child Left Behind' is that everyone needs to be taught to these standards. These standards are for the type of thought that people don’t even use in our society. The kids don’t see any positive results from education. All they see is that they will be drilled into a certain thought process that they can’t relate to. The creative programming that’s being eliminated from school's—arts, music—all the things that enrich peoples lives are being eliminated to teach to this test.” Antonio Lopez, World Bridger Media

"I would really like the people who make the laws and write the tests to come in and watch the kids use video and make websites. Watch the kids do the things that really engage them. Not that it's an activity that's fun, but they are truly engaged in that full moment where they are really thinking and alive, and part of the world they are trying to interact with and are learning about. The people who make the tests and the people who pass the laws about taking the tests need to come into the classroom to see them in action." Rob Cohen, Teacher Franklin Avenue Middle School, Franklin Lakes NJ

Just this month Secretary of State, Nina Wells, and Acting Education Commissioner, Lucille Davy, launched The New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, a month-long online survey to evaluate the status of arts education in every public school in New Jersey. Acting Commissioner Davy said the survey marks the first time the Department of Education has collected information about the implementation of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) for visual and performing Arts. “This survey is evidence of the high value we place on the arts as an important part of a good education,” said acting Commissioner Davy. “We know that quality programs in the visual arts, music, theater and dance challenge our students to be self-confident, creative thinkers. Exposure to the arts will enrich them for the rest of their lives.”

Our media educators couldn't agree more. The keynote, given by Dr. William Kist of Kent State, reflected this holistic approach, “I would really like us to move toward a time when we don’t even think of the term ‘media’ literacy and we drop the ‘media’ off and just talk about literacy. This is all part of being a literate human being. By this I mean motion, video, sound, choreography, visual art and print. It’s all part of how we as human beings react to and express ourselves in the world.”

More from media educators

>>>>ON MEDIA >>>> 5 VOICES

Book: New Literacies in Action:Teaching and Learning in Multiple Media by William Kist - What do classroom teachers do on a daily basis to incorporate the study and production of texts in multiple media? What are some of their assignments? How do teachers assign grades in a classroom where the final project may be a sculpture, a film, or a website? This book answers these and many other questions by examining the work of pioneers: teachers who have transformed their classrooms in an effort to broaden the literacy of their students.
Magazine: TeenInk Teen Ink is a monthly print magazine, website, and a book series all written by teens for teens. There are over 16,000 pages of student writing on this site. It's about time - teenagers speaking for themselves! Any teen can submit writing, art and photos for publication. Music, movie and college reviews, poetry, fiction & articles of everything from friends and jobs to sports and the environment are in each issue. See what millions are talking about!

Website: In2TV The first broadband TV network and it's got the largest collection of free TV shows anywhere on the Web. Not just highlights or listings, but full-length TV episodes with a range of choices and loads of interactive features. Online. Anytime. Always free. AOL and Warner Bros. bring hundreds of episodes of TV shows online. Dramas, comedies, thrillers and animated series. Shows like 'Welcome Back, Kotter,' 'Growing Pains,' 'Wonder Woman,' 'La Femme Nikita,' 'Alice,' 'Kung Fu,' 'Babylon 5' and more. They will be adding more shows and video clips in the near future, including more recent programs and other TV-related content.

Audio: The Godcast Network is a free global podcast network featuring Christian and other family-friendly audio content in MP3 format. Boasts listeners in 153 countries and counting. Audio shows can be downloaded to your computer by clicking on the MP3 icons on their website, or, using podcasting client software such as Apple's iTunes, you can subscribe to the shows and have them downloaded automatically to your computer and optionally to your portable MP3 player whenever new shows become available.

TV: Lives That Make a Difference is an A&E Networks outreach campaign that focuses on people - from all walks of life and all age groups-who have a positive impact on our world. It helps others learn how they can make their local neighborhood or their global community a better place. Through public service or private enterprise, people can make a difference.


A staggering number of young Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 -- 3.5 million -- were neither high school graduates nor enrolled in school in 2003. The choice to leave school profoundly affects young people's lives, decreasing their earning potential by an average of $9,200 a year and increasing their risks for living in poverty or prison. A new study, The Silent Epidemic, conducted by Civic Enterprises for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, interviewed high school dropouts across the country about why they dropped out, and what might have helped them stay in school.

In an effort to better understand the lives and circumstances of students who drop out of high school and to help ground the research in the stories and reflections of the former students themselves, a series of focus groups and a
survey were conducted of young people aged 16-25 who identified themselves as high school dropouts in 25 different locations throughout the United States. These interviews took place in large cities, suburbs and small towns with high dropout rates.

They found that many disengaged from the education process because they didn't find school challenging, even though they were on a path to getting a diploma.
The Silent Epidemic
Perspectives of High School Dropouts
- A report by Civic Enterprises in association with
Peter D. Hart Research Associates. Of those polled:

47% said classes were not interesting.

57% believed their high schools did not do enough to help students feel safe from violence.
Most students don’t drop out because they’re incapable of doing the work and are flunking—most drop out because they think they’re wasting their time. The obstacles to getting kids to stay in school aren't insurmountable, the report concludes. But changing the situation will require involvement from parents, school officials in charge of the curriculum, and policymakers who can reexamine how the United States thinks about educating its young people.

Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote an Op-Ed about this study in which he quoted the leaders of a successful program that helps dropouts earn entrance to college. These leaders told him that “even for the hardest cases—teenagers with few credits, low grade-point averages, and a host of personal problems—the challenge of a tough curriculum, backed by skillful teaching in small classes and plenty of personal counseling, can be a path to success.” Read Report


Video Systems Magazine interviewed Voices of Hope Productions President, Lori McDaniel.

Finding a New Voice

by Cody Holt, Video Systems Magazine.

Lori McDaniel is not like a lot of activists who see corporate America as the bad guy. Quite the contrary, she believes that nonprofits and other advocacy groups have a lot to learn from corporations about marketing and branding, and in particular the way video and technology can be used to communicate a message. Read story


Whether you've dressed her up in ball gowns or chopped off her hair, everyone has something to say about Barbie. Since Barbie's creation in 1959 (based on a sexy novelty item sold to German men), the best-selling doll in the world has charmed girls, lured collectors, made billions and stirred controversy. Is
Barbie a negative female stereotype? Or is she a toy that encourages imagination? For the series on American Icons, Studio 360 looks into how Barbie has endured and what her future may hold.

Listen to audio mp3 on Studio 360 about Barbie and Bratz dolls

Generations of people are obsessed with Barbie, the world’s most popular toy. Journeying from Barbie conventions to anti-Barbie demonstrations, from San Francisco’s gay pride parade to Croatia’s bunkers, the film Barbie Nation by Sarah Birnbaum explores the phenomenon of the Barbie doll. Barbie fans, foes, fetishists—and the woman who created Barbie—reveal the history and fantasy behind this 20th century icon. ________________________________________________

Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Advertising Council and Laura Bush launched a PSA encouraging adults to volunteer to become a mentor. TV and radio PSAs feature Mrs. Bush encouraging adults to volunteer and become a mentor to any of the estimated 14 million youngsters without positive reinforcements in their lives. The spots emphasize the simplicity of the role of the Big Brother or Big Sister, and conclude with Mrs. Bush encouraging adults to "Help America's Youth. Be a friend. Be a mentor. Just be there." The Advertising Council a nonprofit organization works with advertising agencies to donate the psa creative and contracts with government agencies and nonprofits for $1.8 to 2.2 million to distribute the campaign.
Watch PSA

Television cuts into family time, harms our children's ability to read and succeed in school, and contributes to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity. Here are just a few of the facts:On average, children in the US will spend more time in front of the television (1,023 hours) than in school this year (900 hours).Forty percent of Americans frequently or always watch television during dinner.TV-Turnoff Week Works! According to hundreds of responses to TV-Turnoff Week follow-up surveys, 90 percent of responding participants reduced their TV-viewing as a result of participating.TV-Turnoff Week is supported by over 70 national organizations including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association, and President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

by Virginia Heffernon (NYTimes) A new series of Sesame Workshop DVDs targeted at kids ages 6 months to 2 years is at the center of a rekindled debate about whether very young children should watch TV. A group of child care experts is particularly upset that Zero to Three, a nonprofit child-welfare group, collaborated on the DVDs. Read Story

Voices of Hope Productions
is dedicated to educate and invoke social change through documentary filmmaking and media literacy.

Voices of Hope Productions—Leaving a Legacy within our Lifetime...

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