Erikson’s TEC Center Receives $100,000 Grant to Host National Forums

The Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute was awarded a $100,000 Institute of Museum and Library Services grant on April 18. The TEC Center—in partnership with the Association for Library Service to Children, the Association of Children’s Museums, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education—will use the funds to host two national forums bringing together a wide range of stakeholders seeking to further media literacy in early childhood.

“This grant helps cement the TEC Center and Erikson Institute as thought leaders and conveners advancing the conversation around media literacy in early childhood, which we initiated with our partners during our June 2017 symposium, Media Literacy In Early Childhood: A Critical Conversation,” says Chip Donohue, PhD, director of the TEC Center.

The two TEC Center forums will bring together national leaders and practitioners from libraries, museums, schools, faith-based, and community-based early childhood programs. The forum participants will develop plans to implement promising practices around media literacy for families with children, aged birth to 5.

“This grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services is powerful because, with our partners, we can connect children, parents and caregivers to media literacy education in all the places they spend their day learning,” says Tamara Kaldor, MS ’11, associate director of the TEC Center.

At the forums, participants will address the lack of consensus about what media literacy in early childhood education means, what media literacy experiences in both informal and formal early childhood settings should look like, and how to empower parents to be media literacy role models and mentors.

Forum members will identify strategies and resources adults can use to help children build the media literacy skills they need to be full participants in our society.

The TEC Center award is part of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants for Libraries, which support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields. Twenty-six projects across the country received one of the grants.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said Kathryn K. Matthew, PhD, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We are proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

The TEC Center is an innovative, trusted source for digital-age educators and parents seeking information about the intersection of child development, early learning, and children’s media for children up to age 8. Through carefully selected resources and real-world examples, we strengthen educators’ digital literacy and their ability to intentionally select, use, integrate, and evaluate technology in the classroom and other early childhood settings.