Foundations Focus Youth Efforts on Digital Media

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The Adobe Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and the Black Eyed Peas's Peapod Foundation have joined forces to launch new programs focused on bringing digital media to kids in underserved areas. This includes the expansion of the Adobe Youth Voices program and the launch of new music and multimedia academies.

Adobe Youth Voices is a program designed to give disadvantaged kids an opportunity to learn and use multimedia tools to express their social views through various digital forms of media: music, Web design, video, and other forms of expression. Launched in 2006, the Adobe Youth Voices has resulted so far in some 160 sites serving students. Schools and organizations designated as Adobe Youth Voices sites receive software, teacher and student training, and financial assistance for the production and exhibition of the works of participants.

The Peapod Foundation, for its part, launched the first in a series of music and educational centers last year targeted toward kids in foster care and teenagers who may be in need of help.

Through the partnership, the groups will, according to information released by Adobe, "launch two new integrated music and multi-media academies in the San Francisco Bay Area in [fall] 2009. Plans to scale the program over time include combining Peapod Academies and Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) sites worldwide."

"Creativity and digital literacy are as fundamental to a quality education as every other skill taught in the classroom today," said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO of Adobe and president of the Adobe Foundation, in a statement released this week. "We're proud to be working with such talented and committed artists to nurture self-expression among young people in underserved communities. We hope this is just the beginning."

In addition, according to Adobe, which is contributing $1 million toward the new initiative so far, "Moving forward, the joint Adobe Youth Voices/Peapod Academy sites will incorporate high-tech curriculum developed by AYV with the latest multi-media production tools, recording studio tools and expertise and mentoring in the performing arts. Past students enrolled in AYV programs have had their work showcased at prestigious venues including the Sundance Film Festival and the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, addressing topics such as domestic violence, drug abuse and migrant labor."

Adobe Youth Voices participants also appeared on stage a a concert last night with the Black Eyed Peas.

Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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