The News Literacy Project receives the largest single donation from California philanthropists Melanie and Richard Lundquist

The funding will increase Checkology’s commitment® virtual classroom in schools across the country to help students identify credible news and other information and eliminate misinformation

LOS ANGELES, October 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Melanie and Richard LundquistCo-founder of the partnership for los Angeles schools and two of California’s most important philanthropists, today announced a 10 million dollars Commitment to the News Literacy Project – the largest in the 14-year history of the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is the nation’s largest provider of news literacy education. In the 2021-22 school year alone, educators using NLP content, training and programs reached an estimated 2.4 million students.

Melanie and Richard Lundquist donate $10 million to the News Literacy Project.

Melanie and Richard Lundquist donate $10 million to the News Literacy Project.

The Lundquists’ support will support the NLP’s efforts to increase the reach of its resources and implement its ambitious new four-year strategic plan aimed at mobilizing news literacy practitioners – educators, students and the public – to better navigate today’s strained information landscape and to push back against misinformation and disinformation. The Lundquists are signatories to the Giving Pledge and have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America’s 50 Most Generous Philanthropists.

NLP offers a variety of programs and resources to assist educators in teaching news literacy and helping the public separate fact from fiction. Its primary educational tool is the virtual classroom Checkology, a free online platform of 18 engaging, authoritative lessons focused on topics such as distinguishing news from other types of content, understanding bias, and recognizing misinformation and conspiratorial thinking. Checkology is used by middle and high school English, social studies, history, government, STEM, and journalism teachers, as well as librarians in every state across the country. The platform helps students appreciate the role of the First Amendment and a free press, demystify how journalists do their jobs, and use critical thinking to evaluate and seek out credible news and other information.

“From COVID to 6th January In the face of climate change, the misinformation crisis our country is facing is an urgent threat. Democracy is going down the drain because of its spread.” Melanie Lundquist said. “I spent a lot of time researching which organizations had the best resources available to prepare our young people to protect themselves against the tsunami of false and harmful content they encounter online every day. It was clear that the News Literacy Project had the best tools for educators to use to develop critical thinking skills in students that would allow them to win this battle. That’s why my husband and I are making this significant investment to improve and expand the vital work of NLP.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District – the second largest school district in the United States – has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NLP authorizing the use of Checkology for students in grades 6-12. NLP works with numerous other school systems nationwide, including districts in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Birmingham, Nashville and Indianapolis. The organization also works at the state level in Coloradohawaii and Iowa.

The Lundquists’ gift will greatly expand NLP’s efforts los Angeles — and across the country — to train students to use news literacy to identify credible sources and understand what information they can trust and act on in the news they encounter every day. Part of the gift will be used as a match to attract more donors.

At a Checkology demonstration in September with 12th grade government students Theodore Roosevelt High Schoolwhich is part of the partnership for los Angeles Schools, Melanie Lundquist and LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M Carvalho saw firsthand how students use Checkology to understand the difference between fact, opinion, and harmful misinformation. (Photos are available here.) They were accompanied at school by the NLP founder Alan C Miller and other members of the organization’s leadership, including the President and CEO Karl Salzer; Ebonee rice, Senior Vice President of Educator Engagement; and Shaelynn Farnsworth, Senior Director of Education Partnership Strategy. Also there was Joan SullivanChief Executive Officer of the Partnership for los Angeles Schools.

“Anyone can post anything online, which makes it difficult for our students to know who or what to trust,” Carvalho said. “It is critical that our students have the ability to discuss and recognize credible information in the classroom as a basis for their actions as citizens and voters.”

“We live in the most complex information ecosystem in human history,” added Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter who started NLP in 2008 and helped launch the field of news literacy. “News literacy is a 21st century survival skillSt Century. We’ve seen how young people’s lives can change when they learn to question the information they encounter and become more mindful of what they share. This helps them to put reason over emotion and develop a greater sense of civic engagement. We’re now trying to reach out to the public to create societal change in how people consume and share information, similar to what we’ve seen with issues like smoking and drunk driving.”

NLP recently launched RumorGuard to extend its mission of taking news literacy beyond the classroom®, his first adult learning platform. RumorGuard empowers the public to identify and speak up against misinformation and disinformation by helping people learn how to identify credible information. The platform also encourages users to stop the spread of misinformation by sharing RumorGuard content and encourages users to join its community of concerned individuals who want to keep facts at the center of public discourse.

Miller led the organization’s efforts to nearly increase 50 million dollars during his tenure, including a five-year, 5 million dollars John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship. Although NLP was founded during the Great Recession, it has steadily grown from Miller to today 43 employees spread across all regions of the United States. The organization’s annual budget has increased $1.7 million 2016 to more than 8 million dollars for now.

Melanie Lundquistwho is vice chairman of the board of directors of the partnership for los Angeles Schools and a member of University of Southern California President’s Leadership Council, has joined the Board of Directors of NLP. The board consists of current and former nationally recognized print and broadcast journalists, former appointments from Republican and Democratic governments, and educators. It is directed by Greg McCafferyformer Chairman of Bloomberg BNA (now known as Bloomberg Industry Group).

“The gift of the Lundquists, combined with Melanie’s hands-on commitment to rolling up our sleeves and helping NLP, gives us a real head start as we implement our new strategic plan and work toward even greater philanthropic support,” Salter said. “This support is critical to the expanded impact of NLP in classrooms across America and our work to reach the wider community. We’re proud to be the nationwide leader in helping people of all ages stand up to the intentionally inaccurate information they face every day. Reaching everyone is the only way we can create a more news-literate America to uphold democracy.”

Around Melanie and Richard Lundquist

Melanie and Richard Lundquist have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America’s 50 Most Generous Philanthropists. The Lundquists are signatories to the Giving Pledge. Her gifts have helped transform public education and healthcare outside of the K-12 charter, stimulate biomedical research and innovation, and advance efforts to combat climate change. Melanie is a member of the University of Southern California President’s Leadership Council, the Board of Councilors of University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, the Board of Trustees of AltaSea in the Port of los Angeles and is Executive Vice President of the Partnership for los Angeles Schools. Melanie was named 2019 “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Los Angeles Business Journal for driving systemic change. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees University of Southern California and a Doctor of Humane Letters from McPherson College.

About the News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan, national educational organization, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn, and share the skills needed to be intelligent, active consumers of news and information, and equitable and engaged to be a participant in a democracy.

For more information contact:

David Autumn

Christina Veiga

For Melanie and Richard Lundquist

News Literacy Project

[email protected]

[email protected]

(310) 414-9040×101

(954) 655-6757



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SOURCE News Literacy Project


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