New National Attention Shines on Through Your Lens Competition

October 19, 2010

Although students learn best in healthy, safe school environments, many schools lack the funding for even basic building maintenance. Last year, to raise awareness of school building conditions, we asked students to photograph their schools — and they delivered. Vivid photos and poignant stories poured in from across the country, giving us an honest look at the broken, beautiful, chaotic or inspiring learning environments. This photo contest, Through Your Lens, was created in partnership with the 21st Century School Fund and Critical Exposure. It concluded with a celebrated exhibit on Capitol Hill and a book of student work.

Now we’re gearing up for our second Through Your Lens competition in February 2011, and we’re thrilled to see more national attention for this issue. Earlier this month, the online magazine Slate featured Through Your Lens as part of its own initiative to reinvent the American classroom:

The “Through Your Lens” exhibit features an awful lot of peeling paint and broken windows—the kind of environment you wouldn’t want your kid in for an hour, much less a childhood. But the photographers also highlight examples of spaces that work, flashes of color and sunlight and order in otherwise chaotic surroundings.

We’re proud to be part of this national conversation, and we’re looking forward to the February launch of our next Through Your Lens competition! Be sure to visit the contest site and enter your email address to be notified when the 2011 contest opens!

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