Shine On! Empowers Young Girls and Parents with Media Safety Workshops!
By Diane Chase Kids are bombarded by negativity on computers, on their phones, in ads, on television shows and that can be without ever leaving the house. How do we present a positive message that isn’t in the form of another lecture? Shine On! was founded in 2011 by SUNY Plattsburgh Professor Colleen Lemza with just those questions in mind. After encountering young women struggling with self-esteem issues driven by a negative media impact, Lemza wanted to raise awareness, communication skills and confidence. This evolved to an annual day-long conference for fourth and fifth grade girls led by student mentors. Now in its 5 th year, Shine On! has grown from a one-day workshop with 90 young girls to an overnight conference for over 200 participants. The spring conference has expanded to include girls in third through fifth grades. The overwhelming response now has Shine On! also offering parent workshops and educational outreach.