International Children's Media Center
Chicago, Illinois, USA
MissionThe International Children's Media Center (ICMC) is a small nonprofit with big goals: transforming education and humanizing the ways children and youth view, use and engage technology. To that end, the ICMC develops accelerative learning methodologies and best practices for making children's experiences with screens healthy and beneficial, so that their interactions with technology can be educational, empowering and humanizing. In just eight years, the ICMC has created an astonishing range of arts, education and social justice programs that use film to improve education in impoverished schools and inspire inmates in jails.
What We DoOvercoming The Challenges of Screen Time
Children spend 1600+ hours a year with screens, making digital devices the most influential forces in their lives. Yet we know that thousands of studies detail screen-related dangers including ADD/ADHD, literacy loss, bullying and depression. In ICMC programs these concerns are resolved by "priming" young minds for optimal outcomes before turning on digital devices. The results are exponential gains in empathy and learning.
The Screen Smart(r) Approach
Instead of focusing on "what, when and how much" media children watch, the ICMC focuses on how youth engage and use screens. This evidence-based approach activates "human technology" to boost literacy, emotional intelligence and academic success. Screen Smart programs train children and adults to be self-aware and intentional so they develop healthy tech habits that stop screen addiction before it starts. See our TEDx talk here!
Opportunities for Scalable and Transformative Learning
The ICMC creates festivals, workshops and educational programs that model multi-sensory ways to engage electronic screens while ensuring access to high quality, culturally diverse media.
1. Screen Smart(r) is an accelerative learning program that closes the achievement gap for at-risk children by improving literacy, focus and self-regulation in just half an hour, once a week. The child-centered Screen Smart approach galvanizes academic achievement by connecting the stories on screens to the stories in books. It gives parents of all economic backgrounds new ways to interact with their children around technology at home.
2. ICFilmFest - Movies Make You Smarter(r)- The ICMC takes festivals "where no festival has gone before" with programs of award-winning international and multi-cultural films. The ICFilmFest introduces children to global culture and opens their minds to new perspectives, defusing racial, gender and religious bias.
3. Global Girls & WorldScene - These transformative arts residency programs boost prosocial behaviors, reduce aggression and serve as job training for marginalized and abused youth in detention centers, jails and homeless shelters. Using the ICMC's inclusive approaches, the young people curate a festival and make their own films.
4. THE UPSIDE OF DIGITAL DEVICES- How to Make Your Child More Screen Smart(r), Literate and Emotionally Intelligent. Written by ICMC Executive Director, Nicole Dreiske, and published in May, 2018 by HCI Books), UPSIDE received the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval.
5. Workshops, Seminars & Parent Resources- The ICMC's workshops for teachers, parents, pediatricians, counselors and corporations provide adults with essential 21st century tools.