McCormick Foundation gives $330,000 to Stony Brook

The Stony Brook University School of Journalism announced this week that the Robert R. McCormick Foundation is providing a $330,000 grant to the Center for News Literacy to fund the delivery of training and materials demanded by the rapid spread of News Literacy courses, according to a statement released by the school.

This is a huge boost for us, said Howard Schneider, Dean of the Stony Brook School of Journalism, in a statement. This grant will enable us to share the curriculum materials we are developing here at Stony Brook with a rapidly growing number of universities and high schools linked by a common mission: to teach the next generation of students how separate legitimate news accounts from misinformation, propaganda, spin, and uninformed assertion.”

The school said the projects being funded were showcased during the School of Journalism’s 2011 national News Literacy Conference held at Stony Brook in March, attended by the head of McCormick’s journalism program and David Hiller, Chief Executive Officer of the McCormick Foundation.

We are pleased to continue our support of Stony Brook’s cutting edge work in news literacy, said Clark Bell, the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program Director, in a statement. The Center for News Literacy is the ‚Äògo to’ source for training, resources and innovation in the field.

The proposal was approved by McCormick’s board of directors and will enable Stony Brook to facilitate the following initiatives:

  • Launch of a second summer training program for high school News Literacy teachers, in Chicago;
  • Redesign and re-launch of a richer Digital Resource Center stocked with free materials for News Literacy teachers;
  • Completion of development work underway on the nation’s first online for-credit training course for News Literacy teachers;
  • Two rounds of easy-to-apply-for News Literacy Innovation Grants for programmers and classroom teachers;
  • Development, testing and freeware-style sharing of an assessment tool high schools will use to measure the outcomes of News Literacy courses.

In addition, Stony Brook will use its national profile to drive traffic to News Literacy teaching tools that are being built at Florida Gulf Coast University, at News Trust in Mill Valley, CA and in other partner organizations.

We’ve taken an open-source approach, sharing every element of Stony Brook Model, from syllabus to Blackboard documents at no cost, said Dean Miller, Director of the Center for News Literacy, in a statement.

Miller said the rapid spread of the course demonstrates the effectiveness of that approach and now the McCormick Foundation is giving us tools to keep up with the growing demand.

According to Miller, they share common goals as well: News Literacy courses in all 50 states by 2017 and a slew of new digital tools that make it possible to

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teach one million students these essential skills for citizenship in the information age.

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