Ranny Levy

The invasive impact of violent and biased media on children became the impetus, in 1991, for Levy to create KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children's Media, dedicated to promoting and nurturing quality children's media as a vehicle for social change. A former educator, Levy created an award-winning PBS, produced an ACE-nominated television show and managed an independent film production and distribution company in the mid 80’s. In 1991, Levy co-founded the Coalition for Quality Children's Media and its popular KIDS FIRST! program. Levy developed the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics initiative, a weekly radio show, a traveling children’s film festival and a violence prevention program for at-risk kids using media at WIC (Womens, Infants and Children) Centers. She also incubated Meg's Gifts, a program donating entertainment programming to children's hospitals.

Ranny has written two books, "The New York Times / KIDS FIRST Guide to The Best Children's Videos" and "A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs" and is a frequent speaker at conferences, including:

  • Kid, Youth and Parent Power Conference
  • Vice President Gore's Family Re-Union
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • National Governor's Association Conference on Quality in Education
  • Head Start Research Conference
  • National Association of Family and Community Educators

KIDS FIRST! film and media reviews reach more than 7 million people each month on the KIDS FIRST! website, social media, YouTube Channel and radio show as well as in blogs on Huffington Post, GRAND Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Kidzworld.com, Kidsville News and 50 additional.

Education: University of Michigan, Connecticut College/American Dance Institute, California State University Long Beach, Naropa Institute, Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance.

Ms. Levy is a travel agent and the mother of two grown children, two wonderful grandchildren, 1 surrogate son and 2 lovely daughter-in-laws.

10 Crazy things you probably never knew about me.

  1. My Dad was an engineer and I went to college intending to be an engineer which I found way too boring so I switched majors to dance and theater. My Dad was most unhappy but settled by saying, "Well then, I'll insure your legs." Which he did.
  2. I studied dance from the time I was 4 - ballet, jazz and modern dance. I twirled the baton from the age of 8 through high school, competed in baton twirling competitions all over the mid-west and was head majorette for my high school marching band. Then, I joined a community synchronized swimming team and performed with them throughout my junior and high school years.
  3. I had my first job at age 14 teaching dance to Head Start students at my junior high school.
  4. I studied dance with famous dancers such as Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey, various teachers from the Martha Graham and Alvin Nicolai Companyies, Twila Tharp, Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham and Nancy Stark Smith. It was a blast.
  5. I started a dance company in Fort Wayne, Indiana called the Fort Wayne Dance Collective with some of my best friends and brought in guest teachers, like Diane Elliot and John LeFan, to teach summer intensive workshops and to choreograph for the company. I also introduced contact improvisation to the dancers and non-dancers of Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne Dance Collection is still in business today!
  6. I taught dance at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, New Mexico University, Indiana University-Purdue in Fort Wayne and the fabulous charter school, Whitney Young Magnet School. In the late 70s. I started a dance touring company with 3, 4 and 5th graders who were some of the best students I've ever worked with. Years later, I ran into one of them, Rodrick, who told me I saved his life. "Without you, I would be in jail today."
  7. I've been married and divorced three times and had a couple long term relationships, one of which ended in early 2016. Today, I am happier than ever, exploring my own interests, spending time with friends and family and looking for a special person to grow old with.
  8. I was a vegetarian for 20 years, from the time I was 17 until I was 37 and raised my kids as vegetarians until they started school and wanted to eat lunch at the school cafeteria.
  9. My first child was born when I was 20 and my then husband and I owned a wholesale importing business and traveled all over Mexico with my 3-month-old son, buying silver jewelry, pottery and rugs.
  10. I produced a magazine format television show for Citizens Cable of Fort Wayne, won an Ace Award and was invited to work for CNN in the early 80s. Instead, I moved to New Mexico, aptly named the Land of Enchantment. I've been enchanted ever since.

My daughter, Alanna and me in Tahiti, 2016

My grandson, Aden, 2016

My son, Samsunshine and Kristin, his wife

My older grandson, Sadel, 2016





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