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Through Your Lens Exhibit Reveals State of School Environments and Its Impact on Learning

Student, Teacher Photography Spotlights Role Safe, Healthy School Facilities.

Chicago, IL, May 08, 2011 --( Healthy Schools Campaign, 21st Century School Fund, and Critical Exposure are pleased to announce the return of their Through Your Lens photo exhibition featuring works by students and teachers. The extraordinary images will be on display in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Monday, May 9 through Friday, May 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Through Your Lens, a photo and essay contest, showcases the reality of our nation’s public school facilities and its impact on student learning. More than 300 candid photos and essays, capturing various aspects of school infrastructure, were submitted and 30 photos will be featured in the week long event.

“Through Your Lens empowers students, teachers, and community supporters by providing a unique platform to discuss conditions they are exposed to on a daily basis,” said Adam Levner, executive director of Critical Exposure. “We need to recognize and address existing disparities in school facilities across the country for their sake.”

Six winning photo submissions will be featured as a part of the exhibit, ranging from arresting to celebratory imagery. The winning photographers and photographs are:

· Laquita from Washington, D.C.: "A Gym for No Fans" features a small gymnasium that does not provide bleachers for fans to come support its school athletes
· Kwon from Washington, D.C.: "Caution Kids @ Play" presents children jumping rope with caution tape
· Giavanna from McKees Rocks, PA: "The Moldy Math Book" is a close-up of a dated textbook with mold growing between the pages. Her striking "Running from Water" captures a tarnished drinking fountain spout
· Sarah from Palo Alto, CA: "An Evening to Enjoy" shows a historic schoolhouse backlit by sunset
· David from Laguna Niguel, CA: "Shiny, New and Blue" showcases new playground equipment

”Schools are the cornerstone of our communities and must be a healthy pillar of the community,” said Mark Bishop, Vice President of policy and communications of Healthy Schools Campaign “School buildings are key to student success and encouraging collaborative learning.”

Through Your Lens engages people to advocate for better school facilities. Visit the Through Your Lens website to find out ways one can make a difference and send a letter their senators and representative encouraging policymakers to support and improve school facility initiatives.

Mary Filardo, executive director of 21st Century School Fund, adds, “School infrastructure is often left out of public debate. It is time for communities across the nation to extend the conversation on facility funding in order to create environments conducive to learning.”

The week-long exhibit is free to the public. The exhibit will also be featured online beginning on May 9. To learn more, view photos or sign up for updates, visit

Additional Contacts:
Marni Allen, Director of Policy and Research, 21st Century School Fund
202-745-3745 ext. 12,

Adam Levner, Executive Director, Critical Exposure
202-745-3745 x20,


About Through Your Lens
Through Your Lens is a collaboration of 21st Century School Fund, Critical Exposure, and Healthy Schools Campaign to raise awareness of the need for school buildings that support learning and provide a safe, healthy environment for students and teachers through. Through Your Lens is a national photography and essay contest which allows students and teachers to provide us all with an honest window into today’s school buildings by sharing what they see every day at school. For more information, please visit

About 21st Century School Fund
The 21st Century School Fund (21CSF) was founded on the premise that communities are responsible for creating healthy, safe, and educationally appropriate learning environments. It is the convener of the Building Educational Success Together (BEST) collaborative for high performance school buildings for all children. For more information, please visit

About Critical Exposure
Critical Exposure helps students and organizations advocate more effectively for excellence and equity in public education. By empowering young people to develop skills as documentary photographers and advocates, it exposes citizens and policymakers to the realities of our current two-tiered education system as seen through the eyes of students. For more information, please visit

About Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization, is a leading authority on healthy school environments and a voice for people who care about our environment, our children, and education. HSC advocates for policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment. For more information, please visit
Contact Information
Healthy Schools Campaign
Brittany Wright

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