Katy Smith, WSU students hope to educate new parents about kids’ screen time with new film that debuts tonight
Early-childhood teacher Katy Smith has been thinking about ways to educate parents on the effects of violent media on young children since last December, when news of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., dominated televisions screens in homes across the country.
Monitoring a child’s media exposure is so hard, she said, “like keeping a breeze from coming through a screen door.”
So she set out to inform Minnesota parents about media’s effects on their kids and ways to promote good media habits, with the ultimate goal to make an informational video about the topic that would be available for parents statewide to watch during preschool screening.
She teamed up with five Winona State University students in a class taught by professor Jim Bowey and named the project The Screen Sense Project, which debuts at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. tonight in Wabasha Hall at WSU.
Kaitlin Rose, a Winona State photography and digital imaging student who has been involved in the project, said the group hopes to create a community of parents who can support one another beyond tonight’s gathering as they work to address their children’s media habits.
“We’re wanting them to help take this to the next level,” she said.
Smith hopes to ask the state Legislature in 2015 to provide resources to make the film available to parents of young children statewide.