Literacy Through Photography


Thanks to a Unite Charlotte grant and a partnership with CrossRoads Corporation, the first LTP/TLF program took place this past summer at the Grier Heights Community Center. Developed by Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Literacy Through Photography (LTP) is a teaching philosophy and methodology designed to empower students of varying ages. The Light Factory staff, along with teachers Bree Stallings and Jon Strayhorn, received training in the methodology in 2017. From there, the two teachers tailored a program that encouraged students to share their life experiences through the interpretive and documentary power of photography—all while learning camera techniques, visual literacy, and photographic interpretation. The program took place once a week for six weeks, and students who attended were provided cameras and invited to document their lives around central themes related to family, friends, and community. LTP/TLF concluded with a celebratory exhibition of the students’ photographs. In the end, 24 students “graduated” from the program—and those 24 took their new cameras home with them to continue their photographic explorations.


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Jon Strayhorn