Regional
12:50 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

NMSU Boosts Digital Literacy For Local Girls

Twenty-four local girls will spend part of their summer making movies, blogging and tweeting at New Mexico State University's second annual Girlhood Remixed Technology Camp. The three-day event for girls ages 10-13 is hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of English and runs July 17-19.

"One of the primary goals of Girlhood Remixed is to work to overcome the gender, economic and cultural digital divides that negatively and disproportionately impact many of the area's students, especially young women," said Jennifer England, camp assistant director and third-year Ph.D. student studying rhetoric and professional communication.

At the camp, the girls will engage in a variety of digital tools and work with 20 faculty and graduate students in the hands-on computer lab to produce several digital media projects including brochures, websites and movies. Campers will also have access to resources like NMSU's Learning Games Lab, and stay at one of NMSU's residence halls.

"These projects will allow girls to question and build their online 'girl' identities," England said. "Additionally, campers will gain critical awareness of digital media and its role in their lives."

Camp organizers have created a Tumblr account where camp news and updates will be posted. Once the camp begins, the girls will post their work on the site at http://girlhoodremixed.tumblr.com/. The campers will share their work with family and friends during the last day of camp.

The camp is made possible through a grant from the Hancock Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports at-risk children and families with programs related to food, shelter, clothing and education.

"A number of research studies, including those by the American Association of University Women, suggest that it is during early adolescence that girls begin receiving cultural messages that technology is not for them," said Jen Almjeld, assistant professor of English and director of the camp. "We hope this camp is a fun and safe space where girls can interact with adult mentors and other like-minded girls as they explore the ways technology impacts their lives."

The camp is currently seeking donations for food and supplies from local area business. To support to the camp, contact England at jengland@nmsu.edu.