New York, NY, August 19, 2020 ... Every generation can lay claim to the shared experience of a divided nation. Yet many young people, especially Gen Z, are learning about polarization in today’s society through a barrage of soundbites, headlines and social media posts. This means that, now more than ever there is a critical need, as evident in the latest NAEP Civics Assessment, for young people to learn how to participate in our democracy in more meaningful ways.
To bridge this gap, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) is launching a new curriculum focused on developing young leaders who can think critically through an anti-bias lens. The curriculum will help high school students learn to examine and challenge biases that perpetuate inequity and further examine the social, political and economic divides that are already an indelible part of their lives. ADL’s education team has partnered with the interactive multimedia news platform Bites Media to enhance the curriculum with dynamic current event articles.
“ADL has a long history of engaging educators and students in challenging biases in ourselves, others and society,” said George Selim, ADL’s Senior VP of Programs. “With our powerful, new civics curriculum, we’re cultivating the next generation of leaders to actively participate in their communities and champion social justice. We're especially excited about partnering with Bites Media with their carefully curated articles which lift up and highlight the relevance of our civics lessons.”
ADL’s civics curriculum is designed for high school students, and can be adapted for middle school students. The curriculum is flexible, centering around six critical themes: A Civic Mindset, Power and Privilege, Identity and Membership, Social Justice and Civil Rights, Strengthening Democracy, and Media Literacy. The curriculum can be taught in sequence or as stand-alone lessons. Initial multimedia lessons will be available at the end of August 2020 with the full range of lesson plans slated for publication in late September.
Seizing this historic moment as current events play out, mirroring decades of unresolved civic and social issues, the new curriculum could not be more timely and relevant. ADL Education’s anti-bias framework encourages students to reflect on current issues through an anti-bias lens. Bites Media articles present students with two sides to each story as a starting point for considering multiple perspectives. These articles report on current events according to journalistic standards and with explicit connections to democracy and citizenship.
Educators are taking notice. “The topics are interesting and the students become easily invested.” said Kimberly Huffman, government and political science educator with Wayne County Schools in Smithville, Ohio. “Not only that, they help us build strong relationships inside our classrooms and enhance social emotional learning.”
“There are a lot of digital resources for educators and parents, but there are few that bridge the gap between the need for students to have a fuller understanding of current events and the need to develop empathy and understanding of others,” said Nick Farrell, Bites Media CEO. “What’s unique about this partnership is that Bites Media is strengthening an already robust ADL civics curriculum with news articles that teach about current events in a way that gives students the tools to examine how prejudice, discrimination and bias have contributed to and shaped those issues.”
For more information on how to sign up for the free curriculum, visit: https://adl-civics.bitesmedia.org/
ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.
About Bites Media
Founded in 2017 to address the crisis of misinformation, Bites Media’s mission is to make trusted, reliable news more accessible for all. With editorial guidelines centered around equitable practices of content objectivity and accessibility, Bites Media provides educators and students in grades 6-12 with access to unbiased and enjoyable news to transform a new generation's engagement with the media, and promote civic literacy by connecting current events and American civic life.