Grier students and faculty attended a presentation by regional broadcast media professional Carolyn Donaldson on Tuesday afternoon in the Library. The presentation was the culmination of the Library’s One School, One Story, a program that invites all members of the Grier community to read the same book and participate in a series of discussions and related events. This school year, Grier read I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai.
Grier invited Carolyn Donaldson, Community Engagement Manager for WPSU Penn State and former WTAJ-TV news anchor, to visit Grier and talk about how media is a means to spread ideas and advocate for change, the way Malala did and continues to do through blogs, interviews on radio and television, streaming media, and printed publications. Donaldson tied Malala’s message and mission to US First Amendment rights and how public media entities like WPSU give diverse voices a place to be heard. She cited the WPSU program “This I Believe” as a way for anyone – Grier students included – to tell their own story.
As Malala believes in free public education for everyone, public media’s mission is to provide free informative, educational, and culturally enriching content to everyone. Public media works to uphold First Amendment rights and act as an unbiased conduit to allow voices from all sides of an issue to be heard. Public media also makes every effort to vet information presented to viewers, listeners, and readers. Reinforcing concepts that librarian Mrs. Woolfrey often teaches to Grier students, Donaldson emphasized the importance of information literacy and being savvy information consumers who make sure the information they are absorbing is valid and accurate, not false or misleading.
With the support of many colleagues, Mrs. Woolfrey organized the One School, One Story program and rewarded attendees of Donaldson’s presentation with door prizes that included: t-shirts, enamel pins, phone stands, and notebooks. Grier is so grateful to Carolyn Donaldson for making the time to visit and share her expert knowledge of public broadcast media and its role in supporting First Amendment rights and conveying messages like Malala’s and so many others.