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FotoSynthesis: See and be Green! - FotoFun 2009
February 16, 2009


FotoSynthesis: See and Be Green!



(February 16, 2009, Houston, TX) FotoSynthesis – See and be Green! is the theme for FotoFun 2009, the annual fundraiser for FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography© (LTP) in-school writing and photography program. This child focused event takes place Saturday, February 28, 1 - 4pm. FotoFun offers a chance for kids to learn about the environment, recycling and a sustainable way of life through fun activities like crafts and games. The money raised supports the FotoFest LTP program working in inner-city schools throughout Houston.

Chaired by Annie Criner, Lucy Chambers, and Vera Misteau Mitchell, FotoSynthesis: See and Be Green! is the fourth annual FotoFun event and builds on the foundation of the previous events. The FotoSynthesis event theme is manifested in a variety of environmentally-friendly activities such as making crafts from recycled materials, learning about local recycling efforts, sustainable gardening, reduction of waste, and other educational and fun activities such as making “sunprints,” tie-dying reusable bags, engaging in a photographic scavenger-hunt, and dressing up for portraits in front of a “green” screen. Activity partners include Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Urban Harvest, Artist Boat, and Recycle4U.

Previous FotoFun events have been attended by over 1,000 people and have raised over $75,000 for the LTP Program. FotoFun 2009 is on pace to far exceed previous amounts raised, having already secured over $60,000 in donations from generous corporate and individual sponsors including H-E-B and JPMorgan Chase. Individual tickets to the event are $50 and include access to all of the fun activities, food from Chick-Fil-A and Under the Volcano and refreshments for the adult chaperones.

Literacy Through Photography director Emily Neal says, “FotoFun is a chance for kids and their parents to attend a fun event, learn useful lessons about our environment, and help their peers in the LTP program all at once. It truly is kids helping kids.”

FotoFest Director Wendy Watriss adds, “LTP has become an important part of reading and writing curricula at inner-city schools throughout the city of Houston and beyond.” “FotoFun is LTP’s key fundraising event and presents opportunities, to not only sustain this important program, but to see it grow.”


Literacy Through Photography is the classroom-based educational component of FotoFest International. LTP is a multi-lesson curriculum program combining visual literacy and writing designed to strengthen the learning process and creative thinking in students, grades 3-12. The LTP program has grown since its founding as a pilot project in 1990, to the full-scale photography and writing literacy program of today that serves over 2,500 students in over 100 classroom at public, inner-city schools throughout the Houston-area. The school year culminates with the annual FotoFence exhibition of the students’ work at FotoFest’s Downtown gallery. The year-end projects range from wall mounted posters, collages of photography and writing to three-dimensional installations, and video presentations.

Literacy Through Photography (LTP) provides students with opportunities to express themselves through both narrative (writing) and visual modes, strengthening their cognitive, communicative and visual literacy skills. Teachers are provided with carefully designed lesson plans that offer innovative visual literacy and writing techniques, basic photography skills, and effective teaching strategies that transform the classroom into a stimulating environment to give students the confidence to express themselves through writing, and believe what they write. Their photography is based on their own family and community experience, and it is used to extend and reinforce what they are asked to write in relation to the images. Students are innately motivated to become effective writers and photographers when they tell their own stories about themselves, their families, their communities, and their dreams. LTP Teachers are trained to incorporate visual imagery and writing into core classroom teaching. Each lesson is linked directly to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) objectives for English Language Arts, and meets the standards set forth in national curriculum mandates of No Child Left Behind and the National Council of Teachers of English Standards for the English Language Arts.

The Literacy Through Photography program has been used for 19 years and has been utilized by more than 25,000 Houston-area students and teachers. During the 2008–2009 school year, LTP is used by 2,500 students in 114 classrooms.

LTP partners include Harris County Department of Education, KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Schools, Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams), WITS (Writers in the Schools), the Houston Independent School District and surrounding school districts. School districts across Texas and in Colorado, California, Oklahoma, Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, and New Mexico have also used LTP.


Annie Criner
Lucy Chambers
Vera Misteau Mitchell

The ARETÉ Foundation

H-E-B Intermarine, LLC JPMorgan Chase

Anonymous Slavka B. Glaser Sherry and Jim Kempner

Muffet Criner Blake Janice and Blair Bouchier Katie and A.J. Brass Diana and Russell Hawkins

Allison and David Ayers Karen Bering Lucy and Sam Chambers Annie Criner Susie and Sanford Criner Krista and Mike Dumas Jane and Gus Eifler Barbara Fitch Carola and John Herrin Mrs. Howard P. Isbell Wendy and Mavis Kelsey, Jr. Lisa and Will Mathis Bob Miller and Emily Neal Gretchen and Andrew McFarland Meg and Nelson Murray Laura K. Nolden Carol and Dan Price Margaret Regan and Fletcher Thorne - Thomsen, Jr. Lisa and Greg Spier Anne Wilkes Tucker Al and Steph Walker Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin

Artist Boat Bright Sky Press Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Inc. EarthColor GreenScape Associates, LLP Recycle4U Saint Arnold Brewing Company Under the Volcano Urban Harvest

More details and a full list of FotoFun 2009 sponsors may be found on the Literacy Through Photography website at