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National Public Radio report on Literacy Through Photography
(2MB WAV file)


Literacy Through Photography®
The FotoFest Writing & Photography Project
FotoFest's Pre-collegiate Education Program

Literacy Through Photography (LTP)
Literacy Through Photography (LTP) is the year-round educational component of FotoFest International that uses photography to improve students' writing abilities, cognitive thinking, and classroom communication skills. LTP provides teachers with a 27-lesson project-based writing and photography curriculum in addition to comprehensive program training, classroom support, and teaching resources. Currently, LTP is in 44 schools, serving more than 81 teachers and 2,000 students. With program support from school administrators, teachers, and education organizations, LTP provides quality programming that is aligned with Texas state-mandated curriculum requirements for students in third to 12th grades.

LTP Training for 2005-2006
Teacher training for the Literacy Through Photography Program is available for the 2005-2006 school year. For program prices and training schedules, please contact Angela Grace at or call 713-223-5522 ext. 11.

FotoFest Literacy Through Photography Awarded NEA Grant
FotoFest was awarded $60,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts for FotoFest's development of new Literacy Through Photography (LTP) curricula and its collaboration with Project GRAD Houston. The two-year grant supports development and implementation of two important LTP curricula - a digital curriculum to teach students how to use computer-based equipment to produce visual art for the LTP program; and a special adaptation of the LTP curriculum for ESL (English as a Second Language) students. Over a two-year period, FotoFest and Project GRAD's Fine Arts Program will train teachers from the Jefferson Davis High School Feeder Pattern with the current and newly developed LTP curricula. The programs will provide visits by artists and writers to participating classrooms, establish new permanent exhibition areas in two public schools, and provide four public art events for the Davis Feeder students and the community. This grant is the second NEA grant received by FotoFest in 2004. The earlier grant of $48,000 was received for FotoFest's 2004 Biennial art programs.


Just A Drop Water Curriculum
Four Activity-Based Lessons for Grades 5 to 8

FotoFest developed the Just a Drop water curriculum for the 2004 Biennial as part of its Literacy Through Photography (LTP) program to teach elementary and middle school students about water issues and water conservation. In fall 2003, the four-lesson Just a Drop water curriculum was distributed to more than 100 classrooms in Houston/Harris County and Galveston public schools. Through factual information about water, maps, photographic images, experiments, creative writing exercises, and photography assignments, students were introduced to new perspectives on personal, regional, and global water issues.

The Just a Drop water curriculum was written by marine biologist and artist Karla Klay and environmental scientist Tina Proctor, co-directors of The Artist Boat, Galveston, TX. It includes an informative introduction, 4 lessons, glossary, resources, references, images on CD, and TAKS alignment sheet for grades five through eight. Lessons can be adapted for lower and higher grade levels.

To receive a copy of the Just A Drop water curriculum, please contact Angela Grace at or phone 713-223-5522 ext 11.

Literacy Through Photography®
The FotoFest Writing & Photography Project
FotoFest's pre-collegiate education program since 1990

  • provides hands-on projects that asks adolescents to identify and study important relationships in their lives
  • employs a stimulating mix of writing, photography and visual literacy
  • brings family and heritage into the classroom to create more points of contact
  • engages students in the development of critical thinking skills
  • shows marked improvement in writing test results and communication skills
  • acts as an ideal Advanced Placement writing platform
  • supports viewing and representing elements of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
  • is aligned to National Standards of English Language Arts
  • integrates students into academic life, and provides support and growth programs for teachers

In 1987, FotoFest brought teacher/photographer Wendy Ewald and her innovative photography education project to the Children's Museum in Houston. Wendy Ewald had achieved great success using photography to stimulate children to take pictures and write about their lives and dreams. In 1990, FotoFest expanded the project to public schools and 1,000 Houston Independent School District children. Teacher and student response was enthusiastic and led to establishing Literacy Through Photography as a permanent program. In 1991, FotoFest hired teacher and poet David Brown as full-time education director to create a full-year curriculum that modified the Ewald program. LTP has grown from a pilot project to a rapidly expanding literacy program used by the Harris County Department of Education, Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams), and the Houston Independent School District. It has reached school districts in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. In 2005, LTP will be implemented in Taos, New Mexico. Some 15,000 students have used the LTP program since 1990.