Established in 1990 with Durham Public Schools, Literacy Through Photography (LTP) is an innovative teaching methodology developed at the Center for Documentary Studies that integrates photography and writing to help children and youth explore universal themes like self, family, community, and dreams as both directors and subjects of their work.

Undergraduates in the LTP course work with students and teachers in the Durham Public Schools as well as in Arusha, Tanzania, through the DukeEngage program. There are also CDS continuing education workshops and public school camps.

CDS has exhibited work by both Durham and Tanzanian students and published two books that share LTP methods and assignments, I Wanna Take Me a Picture: Teaching Photography and Writing to Children (Beacon, 2001) and Literacy and Justice Through Photography: A Classroom Guide (Teachers College Press, 2011).

To see student work from the most recent Literacy Through Projects, including responses to Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, and to read about LTP classes and workshops, visit the LTP Blog.