Jury Coordination and Notes

Princesses Like To Rock Too!

February 5th, 2013

moeys.jpgCalling all Princesses! Do you like to rock? Are you ready for a Princess Revolution? If you are, you have to get yourself a copy of Moey’s Music Party: Princess Revolution. KIDS FIRST! recommends this rockin’ CD for kids (especially princesses) ages 1-5.

Moey’s Music Party, the award-winning children’s band, encourages tiara-rific girls everywhere to revel in their brainpower, independence, joy and style. Contains 15 rocking original songs that promote confidence and self-expression while tackling subjects like sharing, body image, keeping promises, and standing up to bullies. Princess Revolution! includes modern musical retellings of classic fairy tales such as “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Princess and the Pea” and “Snow White.”

Here’s what KIDS FIRST! Jurors had to say: Cute rock n’ roll take on music for your favorite princess. Princess theme, but music isn’t too girly, appealing to a wide range of pre-school aged girls. Fun, upbeat songs for your favorite princess. Familiar songs done in an unfamiliar way. Will have kids jumping and singing along. The perfect gift for your music-loving princess!

Kids loved the music too! “These are fun songs.” “I like princesses a lot.” “I know some of the songs, but not like on the CD.” “I like to dance to the songs and I took my princess dolls and let them jump on the bed too!” “I’d like to listen to the Jumping On The Bed song right now.”

Princess Revolution is available for sale from Lemonade Productions LLC at moeysmusicparty.com

Worlds Together, Another Award-Winning Series From Master Communications

January 28th, 2013

worldstogether.jpgThis summer I had the pleasure of reviewing the newest series from Master Communications, Worlds Together. Well known for their Families of The World series, Master Communication’s Worlds Together DVDs take a fresh approach toward cultural understanding.

KIDS FIRST! reviewed three titles in this series, Ethiopia, East Africa and West Africa. All three garnished our highest ranking of All-Star. These films are documentaries, but not in a traditional sense. Intertwining basic facts like geography, they also give you a rare glimpse into the culture of the people, people from different areas and different lifestyles within each region.

Here’s what some of our KIDS FIRST! Adult Jurors had to say: “This DVD teaches history, culture, geography and the diversity of the people living there. Shows the poverty, but also shows the beauty. Children can learn about other children that live in this far away place. Educational from beginning to end. I like how you see the characters at work and at play, they are working together and look happy. A child can see how their culture is different, but also the similarities, to their own.” “Educational and positive. It shows how people live in the different cities in West Africa, East Africa and Ethiopia, and teaches many facts from what languages are spoken to what foods they eat, to how they work and play. In addition to telling facts, it shows them so a child can visually see and understand. A great teaching tool for young children! The scenes near the river are breath-taking and the production quality is very good. A valuable educational film, not overwhelming and easy to follow.”

Geography loving KIDS FIRST! Child Jurors like these DVDs as well. Here are some of our kids’ comments: “Kids seem happy even though they only have things like balls and hoops to play with.” “I was surprised that kids were always smiling and happy even though they don’t have things like video games.” “It shows how they live, how they dress.” “I like to learn about different cultures.” “I like that it is a real documentary and shows how people dress and work.” “I didn’t know that Ethiopia had grass because TV never shows that part. I like seeing a better view of it.” “It wasn’t how I had pictured Ethiopia in my mind.”

You can purchase these titles directly from Master Communications at www.master-comm.com

Steps4Kids Teaches Simple Drawing Techniques

January 22nd, 2013


Does your kid love to doodle, but is frustrated that his house sometimes looks more like a boat? Being creative is one of the most important skills your child can have, but being able to express their ideas in pictures that others will recognize can give them a huge leap in self-esteem.

Steps4Kids, who brought us great DVDs to teach kids to write their ABC’s and to multiply, now offer us an easy-to-follow, colorful and fun product to teach kids basic drawing skills, called Steps4Kids To Draw.

KIDS FIRST! Jurors reviewed this product with their Junior Film Critics, and here is what they have to say:

This is an interactive drawing program. A narrator shows step-by-step how to draw different things including people, animals and objects. The narrator is very clear in how she explains her drawings and shows alternative ways of drawing the same things. She also gives options of how to enhance the drawing. It is easy to follow along and will motivate all ages to try because they make it looks so easy. Simple production, music and lighting are appropriate to the educational content.

This DVD helped kids draw people, shapes, things and animals. They like drawing the objects most. The kids enjoy trying to copy the different drawings and follow the video exactly. They also like to add their own enhancements. The kids wanted to draw along and each told stories about how they made things in their school. They were inspired to create and to discuss.To purchase this DVD, visit the Steps4Kids website by clicking on the producer link here.

New Resource Just For Young Fashionistas

January 8th, 2013

TGSCover.jpgTween Girl Style Magazine (TGSM) launched its winter publication Monday, November 26, 2012, giving girls ages 7 to 13 a one-stop magazine for the latest fashion trends, health advice and other resources for young fashionistas.

TGSM launched its online publication www.tweengirlstylemagazine.com September 2010 with modeling contests, celebrity news and fashion trends. The print publication is an extension of the online magazine.

“Our magazine is a resource center for young girls where they can find trendy new looks, celebrity news and enter fun modeling contests to win prizes,” said Ebony Stith, founder and publisher of TGSM.

Stith said TGSM was created to fill a need for more tween-centered magazines for girls that love to model and show off their talent. Stith started TGSM 2010 when her tween daughter started modeling and Stith discovered there was a lack of resources for tween models.

“My daughter had just started the modeling scene and I needed resources for her,” Stith said. “I launched this publication as not only a resource for girls ages 7 to 13 but I also wanted parents of tween girls to have a one-stop publication that they could trust to find advice for their daughters.”

The online publication has contributing writers and experts who share information on fashion trends, finances and health. There is also acting and modeling advice for both tweens and parents.

“We wanted to create a place that was family friendly and place young girls would enjoy reading,” she added.

The online publication can be found be visiting www.tweengirlstylemagazine.com 

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2013

© Carolyn Seelen | Dreamstime.comHappy New Year and thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 Film Critic Search. The search is officially closed and voting is over.

Now we have the supreme pleasure of working with our talented judges: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures, Ben Lyons, E! film critic and frequent contributor to ‘Good Morning America,’ and Thelma Adams, whose debut novel Playdate, was an O Magazine pick, was the film critic at Us Weekly for 11 years following six years at the New York Post.

More importantly, we get our first good glimpse of the potential new KIDS FIRST! Film Critics faces.

Good luck to you all - welcome to 2013!

Photo Credit: © Carolyn Seelen | Dreamstime.com

Enter, Vote and Support KIDS FIRST!

December 11th, 2012

Please support our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics programs with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount helps! Click here to make a quick donation, or contact us for more information.
Have you entered your audition review in the 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Search yet? No? What are you waiting for? It’s already time to vote (but there’s still time to enter too.)

Whether you enter or not, you can still help us choose the next KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. After all, if you get our newsletter, follow us on facebook, listen to our KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions radio show or even watch our reviews online, you have a vested interest in who will be the new faces on our reviews.

So let’s get out the vote.

  1. Visit our Film Critic Search page at 2013critic.kidsfirst.org/vote/ This will take you to the Browse & Vote Here page.
  2. Click on any or all of the videos to watch the audition.
  3. Hover your mouse over the stars beneath the video. They should turn from gray to yellow as you hover, and click on the number of stars you’d like to give that person.
  4. If you really love the video, leave a nice comment!
  5. Vote on as many videos as you like. Come back to the page (or refresh) in order to cast your vote for the same video again.
  6. Click “like” under the video and post it to your facebook page. Let all your friends know so they can vote too.+

Film Critic Search and Media Literacy

October 15th, 2012

Casey.Camille.jpgKIDS FIRST! recently announced the opening of our 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Search Campaign. With 5 great titles to view and review, your child might be the next KIDS FIRST! Star!

Now you ask, what does the Search have to do with media literacy? I’ll tell you. A good review has many elements to it. But anyone can tell you what a movie is about. As a film critic, it’s your job to look at the deeper message. That is, what is the story really trying to tell us? How does the moral of the story apply to our every day lives?

Once you’ve identified the deeper message, next you will need to think about how the message is delivered. By this I mean, did the characters act as you would have expected them to? Do they treat each other well and display positive behaviors? If not, was there a lesson learned or a consequence for negative behavior?

Often we watch media like sponges, absorbing the images without looking deeper at what we are consuming. When you write your KIDS FIRST! review, challenge yourself to really consider the film maker’s true message to the audience. Include this in your review and you are sure to stand out among the other entries!

Enter the 2013 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Search Contest now!

Send us your screenplays!

September 12th, 2012

KFLOGO.jpgDid you know that KIDS FIRST! also endorses screenplays? We love screenplays because they are like children themselves. One day they hope to grow up to be stories on screen. They show tons of potential, they spark our imaginations and give us a glimpse of something special before most people have ever heard of them.

Every screenplay evaluated by KIDS FIRST! receives a designation as approved or not accepted, just like the other products we review. However, whether we are able to recommend the title or not, every entry also receives a full written adult review by our specially trained screenplay jurors. This evaluation is extremely comprehensive, and screen-writers tell us, is very useful as they move forward with their project. Endorsed screenplays receive our KIDS FIRST! approved logo and recommendation letter as well.

Even better - we now accept screenplay submissions year-round! In the past, screenplays were reviewed quarterly with our film festival entries (which we now accept twice per year.) Now that we’ve moved them from our film festival to our endorsement program we are able to make the process ongoing. And, there’s just one flat fee, so no more worrying about late deadlines.

Although screenplays are no longer part of our film festival program, they are still eligible to win a KIDS FIRST! Best Award in their category!

You can submit your screenplay online - on our website or through Withoutabox. Only $55 for CQCM members; $75 for non-members and a $5 discount through Withoutabox if you are a member with them. Re-submissions are only $25 if done within 6 months of the original.

Turnaround time is quicker than ever right now, so send them in! We have great folks just waiting to read the next blockbuster film!

All endorsed screenplays must meet or exceed the KIDS FIRST! Baseline Criteria and be appropriate for any age group 18 and under.

Great New Jury Classes - Available When You Are!

November 22nd, 2011

CartoonComputerGuy.jpgWant to become a Juror, but can’t seem to make it to any of the online classes? Started your jury training and still haven’t finished part 2 because of your busy schedule? Well, I have good news! Whether you want to take a live webinar, or train during your free time, the option is now all yours!

Our Juror Training Webinar is now available in a recorded version! This means you no longer have to work around our schedule, the whole program is available online and by email. Even if you choose the recorded option, you will still receive a personal trainer to take you through the process. The class can be completed in as little as two days if you wish!

NEW LIVE CLASS DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON! Live classes are fun and interactive, though the content is the same as the recording.

Here is what you need to do to get signed up:

  1. Go online and fill out our online application form. If you are already signed up, and just need to complete the course, then all you need to do is email the Jury Manager for instructions. On the form, please note whether you prefer the live class or the recorded version of the webinar. If you need to request a fee waiver for the class, please note that on the form as well.
  2. Pay the $10 admin fee.The admin fee covers our cost to provide this training. A limited number of waivers are available. Payment instructions and waiver decisions will be provided after the online application has been completed.

Once you’ve completed the application process, you will receive all the instructions you need. Contact us with your questions and check out the Jury Web Page for more information.

Don’t delay! With new movies out all the time, independent films, games and now iPhone, iPod and iPad apps in for review, it’s a great time to become a juror!

Jury Class Update

September 1st, 2011

Stock Image - Happy smiling familyOur recorded class is getting rave reviews! Available when you are, they are the most flexible option available to become a KIDS FIRST! juror. If you’ve been putting off the training because of your busy schedule, now is the perfect time to get started. Work at your own convenience, your own pace and you don’t even have to worry about the screaming kids and barking dogs in the background!

Want a more fun and interactive experience? New classes are now opening for November 15 and 17. It’s a 2-part class, so you need to attend both of those dates to complete the program.

Click here to register for the live class or the recorded webinar! Want to know more? Check out our Jury Page, or send a message. I’d love to hear from you!!

© Photographer: Rafal Glebowski| Agency: Dreamstime.com

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