Jury Coordination and Notes

Jurors! Share Your Love For Film With Your Community!

October 25th, 2010

KF_FilmCriticsLogo1.jpgWant to share your love for children’s films and media literacy? Want to get your school or other community organization involved in your jury? Here’s your chance…

Join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Weekend, November 8-14, for an event that teaches kids strong critical thinking, writing and public speaking skills. Host your very own movie party and screening of Velveteen Rabbit. The DVD is free for schools and libraries and all the marketing materials you need are available online. Partnering with another organization will help you to build good community relationships. Although you cannot charge for entry, a non-profit organization can raise funds through raffles, food sales and other creative endeavors. The Velveteen Rabbit is a great family film, especially suitable for kids ages 6-15.

Contact us today to host your very own free screening! After all, everyone loves a free movie!

Just a reminder… vote for your favorite reviewer on wonderworldtv! Voting closes on October 31 and 20 kids will be chosen as finalists in our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Search. Make sure your favorite gets in. Vote today!

Jurors - Don’t Let Your Kids Miss Out!

September 22nd, 2010

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics’ Campaign is an awesome opportunity for any kid ages 6-15, but jurors have an even better chance of being chosen! Why is that? Because your jurors already know how to evaluate children’s media.This is an amazing opportunity for your son or daughter, or another member of your children’s jury!

The KIDS FIRST! first annual Film Critics’ search is a national campaign to find 5 kids who will serve as official KIDS FIRST! Film Critics for one year. The lucky winners will be flown to LA to attend red carpet events, will attend advance screenings of new films, interview celebrities on and off the red carpet and write reviews and blogs about films for kids and families. One lucky winner who evaluates the director’s cut of Velveteen Rabbit will also win a $10,000 scholarship!

All entries must be completed by October 20. So get your written review in today — you’ll want the extra time to make sure it’s just right. Receive a prize just for entering!

While You’re Waiting - 4 new class dates announced!

July 20th, 2010

GirlComputer.JPGWhile you are patiently waiting to have access to the pre-recorded version of our Jury Training Class, we are also announcing our dates for LIVE classes in August and September. For both months, we are offering convenient evening and day time classes..

Evening Classes:
August 9 and 11 (Mon and Wed) at 8 p.m. ET
September 20 and 22 (Mon and Wed) at 8 pm. ET

Day Classes:
August 24 and 26 (Tues and Thurs) at noon ET
September 14 and 16 (Tues and Thurs) at noon ET

You will need to be available on both evenings in a series in order to complete this 2-part training.
We still have some FREE spaces left, but this offer might end VERY soon, so sign up now to reserve your space. After that, there will be a $10 admin fee (previously $40, so it’s still a great bargain!)

Questions? Contact us by email, visit us online or call the office at 505-989-8076.

New! Free Jury Training to the First 50 Registrants

April 14th, 2010

Fact: The average American child will spend more time watching television and playing videogames than he or she will spend in school. You have a right to be concerned about the amount of time kids spend on media.

Won’t you join us to teach children healthy media habits that last a lifetime? Become a
KIDS FIRST! Juror and start your own Junior Film Critics Club in time for summer!

Best of all, we’re offering free training to the first 50 people who sign up for an April or May Jury Training!

And we’ve got 4 new classes scheduled for you to choose from:

April 27 and April 29 at 8pm EST
May 3 and May 5 at 2pm EST
May 10 and May 12 at 8pm EST
May 17 and May 19 at 8pm EST
(It’s a 2-part class, so you will need to attend both sessions in order to complete your training.)

Everyone who completes a jury registration form, will be automatically be enrolled in this month’s
KIDS FIRST! sweepstakes. You could win cool new DVDs for your family, but that doesn’t even
compare with the amount you can add to your media library once you’ve become a juror.

With your support, KIDS FIRST! can reach millions of kids and change their behavior from being
passive to active viewers. When we change kids’ behavior, we change the behavior of families and
our communities. Everyone benefits.

Want to learn more? Visit our Jury Page or contact our Jury Manager. Sign up today!

Toddlers as Critics

April 2nd, 2010

Many people feel strongly that kids under the age of two should not be exposed to TV, including DVDs or films shown on the television set. It is important to understand your motivations and to feel comfortable with your decisions around media watching with very young children.

However, you may not feel this way, or you may realize that your kids are being exposed to media anyway - at friends houses, day care, etc. If that’s the case, then it’s never too early to make sure your young ones are watching programs that are age-appropriate and enjoyable. And, who better than to let parents know what is good for their toddlers, than the kids themselves!

At KIDS FIRST! juries of young children already engaged in media watching, help us evaluate products for their own age set. When working with such a young jury, generally ages 1-3, specific concerns arise and our Adult Jurors use a special set of skills.

Children at this age should not be glued to the screen and are not expected to sit still and be attentive. It’s okay for them to shift their attention to other things and to get up and move around. When our Jurors do an evaluation with them, they will notice whether the program engages the children part of the time and when it does so. In their evaluation, they might mention things such as: “The kids all bounced along to the music” or said, “again, again.” Jurors note whether the program is engaging for parents by offering suggestions of things they can do with their infant or toddler during or after viewing.

Media should always be viewed by an adult in advance. Also look for online reviews which will give you some insight into whether you would find the content appropriate. Internet searches can help, and you can find our wonderful juror reviews on the KIDS FIRST! website. If you’re interested in starting your own jury, with toddlers or any age kids, contact us or visit our jury website for more information.

April Jury Training

February 24th, 2010

Need something to do with the kids between basketball games? Expecting a lot of the proverbial April showers? Got the grandkids coming over during break? Or maybe your like most of us, concerned about what kid’s watch on TV, in film or in video games and you want to help them become more savvy media viewers! Then it’s time to become a KIDS FIRST! juror and start your own Junior Film Critics Club.

Our next Jury Training class is taking place on April 5 (Monday) and April 7 (Wednesday) at 8pm EST. This is a 2-part class, so you need to attend both in order to complete the training. To find out more, visit our website or contact us.

Sign up now to reserve your space in our April Jury Training Class!

Kids Make Great Film Critics

January 28th, 2010

The other day I was puttering about the house, doing my usual ‘mom’ thing of laundry and tidying and breakfast-preparing, when I heard my four-year old daughter ask her two year old sister “Do you think your friends will like this video?” Of course, I had to peek around the corner at what was going on, and there she was, pen and paper in hand, sitting up straight, grilling her sister. It made me smile.

We’ve only been reviewing titles for KIDS FIRST! for a couple of months, but it’s rubbed off. She kept going too, asking her sister if she liked it a lot or a little, and what she was thinking about. The answers weren’t always, well, intelligible, but it sure was fun to watch!

When we pop in any old DVD, I get asked if I will be ‘asking her special questions’ after it is over, and if I’m not, I get a disappointed response. My two year-old twins love choosing the smiling or frowning faces on the juror forms, and insist on scribbling on them once we’ve finished.

I started out as a juror because the children’s media is an industry I wanted to enter as a filmmaker, and so of course I have a natural tendency to want to see what’s out there. Now, I find the time we spend watching the movies to be just great together time. Filling out the forms gets my four year old talking and asking questions, and thinking about what she saw. It is obvious she feels it is special time with Mama, and I love that her questions have spilled over to whenever we’re watching TV or a movie, which has given me the chance to explain what commercials are for, and for her to pick apart for herself what made a character or scene a little scary. (Since then, she’s told me she likes it when movies are ‘just itty bitty scary!’)

Some kids play Doctor or Teacher or Firefighters. My kids play Film Critic. Maybe Siskel and Ebert costumes for Halloween?  Hm—maybe!

By Hannah Dallman (KIDS FIRST! Juror)

Jurors! We want to hear your stories! Just email them in with a photo. To start your own jury, contact us or visit our jury website. March classes are forming now, so don’t delay!

Next Class in February - Sign Up Now to Become a Juror!

January 15th, 2010

Our next Jury Training class is scheduled for February 1 and 3, Monday and Wednesday, at 8:00 pm EST. You must attend both sessions, as it is a 2-part class. For full details, visit our jury web page.To join the class, please complete an online application form and confirm that you will be able to attend the February dates. Your $30 fee, fully refundable once you’ve completed training and evaluated your first 6 titles with your jury, can be paid by check in advance, or with a MasterCard or Visa by phone. Contact us if you are interested in setting up a private class or need more information.

Sign up now, and be our first new juror for 2010!

Become a Juror in time for the Holidays!

November 20th, 2009

Our December class was just announced and it’s filling up quickly. A little later in the month than usual, due to our annual awards ceremony on December 5, but still in time for the holiday season.

The Jury Training class is scheduled for December 14 and 16, Monday and Wednesday, at 8:30 pm EST. You must attend both sessions, as it is a 2-part class.

It’s a wonderful time to join our jury as we have been receiving more and more independently produced DVDs, CDs and computer games then ever before. In addition, we are also reviewing many DVDs and films from major production companies, often before they are released to the public! Build up your own library while helping kids learn to become critical media consumers. Remember, you won’t get sent any products to evaluate without your permission on the timing and type of media (ie. DVD, CD, CD-rom, etc.)

To join the class, please complete an online application form and confirm that you will be able to attend the December dates. Your $30 fee, fully refundable once you’ve completed training and evaluated your first 6 titles with your jury, can be paid by check in advance, or with a MasterCard or Visa by phone. Contact us if you are interested in setting up a private class or need more information.

Just think, you could have your very own Junior Film Critics Club started before the holidays, what a wonderful gift for the young people in your life!

Getting Kids to Talk - Ages 2-5

November 9th, 2009

I’ve talked about getting the kids on your jury to open up and participate in the evaluation process, ages 8 and up. But what about younger kids?

Although you don’t have to worry about honesty as much with this age group, or the problems with peer pressure that arise later on, pre-schoolers often have to be coached into giving an evaluation with meaning. The evaluation forms we use ask simpler questions and expect simpler responses. However, some of our best insights come out of this crew.

Many pre-schoolers will not sit still for the entire program. They may wander in and out during the screening. Remember that they are still sorting out what’s real and what’s pretend and are easily frightened. Although we love to include direct quotes from your jurors, you will also need to interpret their feedback based on physical responses as well as verbal ones. In your evaluation, you might mention things such as: “The kids loved Dora and asked to see her again the next day” or “No one in this group sat still for more than a few minutes.” Insightful observations, while doing your best not to interject your own opinions, are a great way of letting others who read the evaluation make more informed family media watching decisions.

Children ages 2-5 can be coaxed into responses. Try sitting on the floor with them while asking them questions and always make eye contact. Don’t expect a long attention span. One experienced juror cut out the smiley faces on our evaluation form and made them into puppets by attaching to the end of a craft stick. When it came time to “vote”, kids raised up their smiley puppet in response!

Jurors - have another clever way you’ve gotten your kids to participate? Send them to me and I can use them for future blogs.

Want to learn more about media literacy and the KIDS FIRST! Jury program? Visit our jury page and contact us if you have questions. Our next training class is coming up in a few weeks (early December), so don’t delay!

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