CML Seals Alliance with Distributor of Classroom Resources

Teacher's Discovery, Inc. to collaborate on new product development, conferences to serve growing media literacy marketplace.

November 12, 2001 - A sign of the growth in the media literacy educational movement in the U.S. is the new strategic marketing alliance announced between the Los Angeles-based Center for Media Literacy (CML), known for its comprehensive clearinghouse of PreK-12 teaching resources for media education, and Teacher's Discovery, a leading producer, creator, and distributor of educational materials headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI.

"The combination of education reform and cataclysmic national events have propelled media education forward as teachers strive to help students gain critical thinking skills and media production skills, using new technology tools," announced Rick Vess, Director of Teacher's Discovery. "As Teacher's Discovery reaches out to teachers with new approaches and materials, the fit between Teacher's Discovery and CML opens up alternatives to teachers seeking to engage children with multi-media materials."

"CML will continue its nationally recognized role in screening, evaluating and recommending media education resources to assure teachers, librarians, school administrators and parents that the highest quality materials are being selected," explained Elizabeth Thoman, CML's Founder and Chair. "Teacher's Discovery provides excellent customer service, and offers CML the opportunity to develop innovative new products. We are excited to begin working with Teacher's Discovery, and look forward to having the chance to help teachers and other authors to develop quality educational materials."

Long the leading publisher and distributor of media education resources in the United States, CML is known for its comprehensive print and online catalogue of books, curriculum units, videos, CD-Roms and now DVD discs. "We are thrilled to be involved with CML," Skip McWilliams, Teacher's Discovery Founder and President, said. "Teacher's Discovery hopes to be THE resource for helping teachers help kids to critically think about how media influences perceptions. CML has done important work in this area for a long time, and we're happy to help kids learn to examine the media under the microscope of their OWN logic."

Considered by many to be an "illustrated bibliography" for the media literacy field, the Center's catalogue specializes in hard-to-find teaching materials, including innovative materials from Canada, Australia and Europe where media literacy is required for high school graduation. The Center also packages core collections of teaching materials from multiple sources, thus allowing schools to more easily ramp up classroom implementation of media literacy across the curriculum.

CML's quality criteria for selecting materials includes having a sound media literacy pedagogy with a philosophy of "empowerment through education, rather than promoting censorship or "media bashing." The Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA), a newly-formed professional organization for U.S. teachers, recognizes CML's clearinghouse role and catalogue as a much-needed and valued service to assist teachers in integrating media literacy at all grade levels.

Media literacy focuses on students' learning to access, analyze, evaluate and create media so that they will have the tools as adult citizens to function in a world increasingly connected through multi-media. "Our work is critically important, especially in light of the influence that powerful images, words and sounds have with young people, today," said Tessa Jolls, CML's President and CEO.

CML is known for publishing the acclaimed curriculum, "Beyond Blame: Challenging Violence in the Media" and Media&Values magazine (1977-1994) which helped to kindle the media literacy movement in the U.S. Founded in 1989, the Center offers teacher training, consulting and public education around media literacy issues, pioneering a national model for teacher training through its Felton Media Literacy Scholars Program. CML' website,, features comprehensive information on media literacy history and educational pedagogy along with information on today's critical media topics such as media violence, racism and sexism in media, how to analyze the news and advertising to children. CML will remain as an independent 501 (c)3 non-profit organization chartered in California.

Author Bio: 

Tessa Jolls is President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy, a position she has held since 1999. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and has consulted and published in the organization development and change management fields for major corporations.