Scenic America is proud to announce the launch of ViewFinders, the first and only educational program aimed at teaching youth how to critically examine the visual environment.
First developed by the Dunn Foundation, ViewFinders is designed to help citizens look at their communities in a new light. “Simply asking a question like ‘do I like the way my street looks?’ is a vital first step in working towards a more beautiful environment,” said Mary Tracy, president of Scenic America. “But it’s a question that doesn’t get asked enough in our busy day to day lives.”
Scenic America worked with the Dunn Foundation to redevelop the ViewFinders curriculum for the digital age, resulting in a website that is fun, interactive and visually appealing. While designed with youths in grades 5 – 8 in mind, the program can be enjoyed by people of all ages. “We believe that parents, teachers and other adults will enjoy and learn as much from ViewFinders as children will,” said Tracy.
Among the features of ViewFinders is the chance to be mayor of “Youville” and decide how you want your town to look. By choosing from a series of different options users can watch the town change right before their eyes. Another lesson allows users to click on blighted objects and literally clean up their town!
“We want all Americans to feel empowered and have a say in how their community looks,” said Tracy. “In particular we want our younger generations — tomorrow’s leaders — to know that they have the power and, just as importantly, the responsibility to make choices that will ensure that America the Beautiful is more than just a slogan in the years to come.”
ViewFinders can be found online at www.view-finders.org