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KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:
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March 1, 2002


Quote: "Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often. " - Samuel Butler

Dear Friends,

Last Friday marked the passing of one of the world's finest animation artists, Chuck Jones. Last summer I met Chuck's daughter, Linda at the Chuck Jones Gallery in Santa Fe who noted that her father's films were not originally made for children. Certainly I spent my childhood laughing at his characters at weekend matinees. I remember how my Dad would drop me and my siblings off at the cinema after church on Sunday and how we protested when the price increased from 25 to 50 cents!

SAVE THE DATE! As our e-zine readers know, we're prepping for our KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 - coming to Los Angeles and Fort Wayne, Indiana April 20-27 and to eleven other cities throughout the year. Scheduled are 23 programs: video premieres, classic films, and independent videos and films for kids ages 2 to 15. Everyone's favorite activity, our panel of Junior Film Critics featuring local kids from our Junior Film Critics Club will play a major role in the Festival again this year. Come be part of the Festival! We'll have costumed characters, entertainers, and more to tickle your fancy and make you think. Festival passes will be available on the KIDS FIRST! web site starting March 15.

Apologies. The "wonderful Message by George Carlin" that we posted last week was not written by Mr. Carlin. It was sent to us by a friend and we made the error of not confirming the author prior to publishing it. Our efforts to locate the actual author have been unsuccessful thus far. If anyone knows... let us know.


Enjoy,

Ranny


New Endorsements:

Television** SPENCER'S CROSSING An original documentary on the Kontnik family of Colorado, who decide to do something extraordinary when 11-year-old Spencer loses his hearing in an accident. They become the first family ever to attempt to swim the English Channel relay style. Adult Juror Comments: Inspiring and realistic documentary. Makes the audience feel as if they are on the boat with the family. Shows a real family working together to achieve a dream, supporting each other through their challenges and disappointments. Kid Juror Comments: They liked the real-life adventure. "The idea of a family working together is pretty cool." "They really treated each other great - just as a family should." "We learned about the ocean, about swimming fast for a long time, and about the English Channel." Video. 28 min.; $0; Age: 6-12. WAM! AMERICA'S KIDZ NETWORK.

VIDEO
8 - 12-year-old videos
** 587: THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY A group of kids stumble upon a fully functional steam locomotive, "The 587," destined for the scrap heap. They devise a plan to rescue the antique steam engine with the help of an old engineer, his dog and about every kid in the neighborhood. Adult Juror Comments: Enjoyable, improbable. Wonderful close-up look at a locomotive, great glimpse of the railways and how they interconnect. Kids are very resourceful and work together for a common goal. The means used to achieve the goal aren't always safe or admirable. Kid Juror Comments: Identified with the kid heroes. "We like Molly." "Alex is smart and cool." "The kids
had to cooperate to save the train. But they didn't cooperate with their parents, because they snuck out at night." "It would be fun to do what they did." Video. 80 min.; $14.95; Age: 7-10. LUCKY CHESTER & MAVIS, INC.

** CRIME FIGHTERS Miracle Pets is a new documentary video that explores and celebrates our relationships with the animals around us. They are touching, true stories that involve pets, including heroic pet rescues and wildlife adventures. Adult Juror Comments: Interesting and informative. Interplay between documentary style and drama is balanced and effective. Scenery, script and storyline fit together well. "It's all about trust, partnership, companionship and family." Kid Juror Comments: Appealed more to younger kids than highschoolers. "I found it extremely interesting, but it is not the kind of movie I can watch repeatedly." "The skits were realistic and definitely original." "It made me want to spend more time with my dog." Video. 45 min.; $7.99;
Age: 10-14. FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS, INC.

12-18-year old videos

** HERE COMES A MARCHING BAND (TUNE BUDDIES).Experience the sights, sound and pageantry of a marching band. The host, Dave guides viewers on a tour of the instruments and then tries his own hand at leading the band - with interesting results. Adult Juror Comments: Interesting and informative. Uses humor to teach about instruments, history and logistics of the marching band. Stresses the importance of practice, commitment and teamwork. Much of the information is conveyed by teens. Kid Juror Comments: Everyone was impressed with how much work it is to march in formation while playing an instrument. "The band worked together well." They thought Dave was "funning" when he was trying to be in the band. "I liked it when Dave hit his nose with the cymbals." Video. 32 min.; Age: 6-10. WARNER BROS. PUBLICATIONS.

** SPACE COWBOYS - They trained hard to go into space. But when the moment came, the brash flyboys of Team Daedalus were replaced by a chimpanzee. Four decades later, they get a second chance because only they have the outdated know-how to fix an old Russian satellite. Adult Juror Comments: Lots of action, suspense and great space shots. Good acting by a notable cast. Lots of profanity, an implausible story line, but fun. "It makes you
think about engineering possibilities and the space program, and the value of older people." Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it and got the message about teamwork. "Eventually they had to work as a team." " Well, they had their problems, but they worked them out." "It made me think about how older people have a lot to contribute." "Good special effects." Video. 130 min.; $19.98; Age: 12-18. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

MEDIA NEWS *****************************

***Junior Film Critics Club Facilitator's Training Redlands, CA ***Saturday, March 23, 8:30 am – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch) This is an interactive experience that examines the curriculum the Facilitator will use with the Junior Film Critics Club members. Our intent is to develop critical viewing and evaluation skills applicable to TV programs, film, videotaped programming, and software. This is very much a hands-on session that prepares the participant to both assess media for him or herself and to act as a Facilitator of a local Junior Film Critics Club with 8 - 13-year-old kids. (Limit 25 participants)

Lunch is available on site @ $7/person. Lunch ticket must be purchased at front desk before 10 am on the workshop date to reserve lunch space. Note: you may also bring your lunch, if you prefer.

*** KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award ***

The winners of the KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award will be selected by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival attendees through April 25 as well as kids who vote online. The winners will be announced Friday, April 26, 2002.

The KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award is intended to honor media that are non-violent and non-biased but also engage a child's imagination; stimulate curiosity and creativity; respect cultural diversity; and challenge kids to think, reason, and ask questions.

For more information about how to vote for the KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award and our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, please visit the Coalition's website at http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org.


*** Animator Chuck Jones Dies ***

The 89-year-old Academy Award-winning animator Chuck Jones, whose cartoon characters marked our childhood, died at his home Friday, February 22.

Chuck worked on more than 300 animated films his 60 year career including three Academy Award-winners: "Frigid Hare,'' "So Much, So Little'' and "The Dot and the Line.'' Not only did Jones create Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Porky Pig but he also wrote, directed and produced the classic: "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas.''

*** Screenwriting Fellowships ***

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program is underway and applications are now available. As many as five $30,000 fellowships will be awarded through the program later this year.

The competition is open to any individual who has not sold or optioned a screenplay or teleplay for more than $5,000 or received a fellowship or prize that includes a "first look" clause, an option, or any other quid pro quo involving the writer's work. To enter, writers must submit a completed application form, one copy of their original screenplay, in English, and an entry fee of US$30. Entries must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2002.

Since the program's inception in 1985, a total of 73 fellowships have been presented and there are numerous success stories among the fellows. Susannah Grant, a 1992 Fellow, received a 2000 Academy Award nomination for her "Erin Brockovich" screenplay. Most recently, Fellow Karen Moncrieff (1998) directed her Nicholl script, "Blue Car," and 1997 Fellow Anthony Jaswinski wrote and directed "Killing Time." Both films premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

Additional information about the Nicholl Fellowships can be found at http://www.oscars.org/nicholl.

Parent and Family News *****************************

*** NOW Urges Members to Protest Ultra-Violent Video Game ***

Several members have written us with concern about the ultra-violent video game Grand Theft Auto III. This game has been receiving a lot of publicity, and some columnists have even admitted allowing their teenage sons to play it. Here is a partial description of the game, from The Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-000000436jan03.story): "Players can revive their flagging health by picking up a prostitute at one of the many street corners in Liberty city. Take her to a secluded spot. Have sex with her. Money goes down. Health goes up … After the hooker gets out of the car, the player can follow her, beat her to death and take back his money. It's not just a quick hit. It's a bloody bludgeoning with a baseball bat that players can feel in their hands thanks to the force-feedback feature in the PlayStation2 controller." Because of the misogynism and the violence, NOW (National Organization for Women) has issued an Action Alert asking people to contact the companies involved in creating these games in protest. We encourage you to go to NOW's site and take action: http://www.capwiz.com/now/issues/alert/?alertid=95878&type=CU

*** "Violent Video Game Protection Act:
Georgia House Bill 1378 ***

The Georgia Legislature is considering a bill sponsored by four Democrats criminalizing the sale or distribution of violent interactive video games to minors as determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. For more information, go to: http://www.govaffairs.com/texis/new/gafetch/+/http://www2.state.ga.us/Legis/2001_02/fulltext/hb1378.htm

*** Toys for Traffic Tickets:
Lion & Lamb Idea Intrigues Illinois Judge ***

Presiding Judge James Wilson heard about The Lion & Lamb Project in the national news over the holidays, and got to thinking about the relationship between violent toys and the violent behaviors he was seeing as a juvenile judge. He called us up to learn more, and then decided to institute a novel program in his Kendall County, IL courthouse. In order to provide creative, nonviolent toys to children connected with the probation office or the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Wilson is now giving minor traffic offenders in his court a choice: bring in a nonviolent toy worth $25 or more, or pay the fine. When a driver is stopped in Kendall County for a minor offense, he or she receives a list of appropriate toys—along with a ticket. "A trend we have noticed in court is a more-violent behavior pattern among children under 18," Judge Wilson notes. "Somehow or another we have to replace those toys that encourage violence with nonviolent toys." If you get a ticket, what better way to pay it?

*** Women and Media ***

In honor of National Women's History Month, the Center for Media Literacy has assembled research reports, teaching resources and activities centering on women, girls and the media. We hope this information helps you and your family, classroom or community organization celebrate females' role in media – past, present and future.

1. NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WEBSITE

The National Women's History Project website includes the story behind National Women's History Month and provides inspiration for media educators to highlight the influential role of women in media today -- and throughout history. A listing of program ideas is provided, including working with local newspapers to develop articles about women from local history, and contemporary women working in comparable fields. Your original event or activity may even be posted on their Events Message Board. Take a look at:

http://www.nwhp.org/whm/themes/themes.html

*** AAUW STUDY EXPLORES GIRLS AND TECHNOLOGY ***

A new report published by The American Association of University Women, is titled "Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age." Offering fresh research and key recommendations. For more information, go to: http://www.aauw.org/2000/techsexecsum.html

*** Girl Scout Research Institute Studies Girls and Technology ***

The relationship between girls and technology is examined in two studies conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute which contain significant findings on girls' interactions with computer technology. Included are the differences in girls' technology usage patterns, the impact of parental encouragement; the role of race, gender and socioeconomic status, technological viewpoints of girls and boys, and the influence of technology design. Challenging commonly held beliefs about gender and technology, the study offers implications and issues to consider for future research. For more info, go to: http://www.girlscouts.org/about/PDFs/girldifference.pdf

Also recommended by CML, "Net Effect" looks at the complex issues and experiences teenage girls face on the Internet. And, more importantly, it offers practical suggestions for parents and caregivers on how to help the "Cyber-Generation" deal with the positive and negative messages they receive through practices such as on-line chatting and browsing. For more information, go to: http://www.girlscouts.org/about/PDFs/NetEffects.pdf

The Girl Scouts of America has created an educational extension of the above reports, "Girls Go Tech," an initiative to promote girls' interest in math, science and technology. They've developed an on-line activity for girls ages 5-8, 9-11 and 12-17. For more information, go to: http://www.girlsgotech.org

For more information on the CENTER FOR MEDIA LITERACY go to http://www.medialit.org

*** School Programs **

*** Students Speak Up at Leadership Forum ***

"School must be a series of hands-on, personalized, engaging experiences that preserve student curiosity and joy of learning," said student Emily McCartan The student voice is powerful, though too rarely included in school design, curriculum structure, and other discussions. In an effort to open up new channels of communication, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) sponsored a Student Technology Leadership Symposium at the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Chicago last June. Common threads among the students' interests were a safe and open learning environment, hands-on activities, access to technology, and support of varied learning styles and the emotional and intellectual needs of students. For more information, go to http://glef.org/ISTEforum.html

*** After-school Programs – Best Practices ***
The National Governors' Association Center for Best Practices has compiled a comprehensive catalog of state-specific extra learning opportunity programs for school-age children. The database includes information on the programs, evaluation, budgeting and contact information. http://www.nga.org/elodata/

***Quality Matters: A YMCA Guide to Quality Child Care ***
It's important for kids to have good quality child care, but how do we know it when we see it? This updated YMCA booklet suggests what parents should look for in selecting a quality child care or after-school program. Print copy available online or by calling 800-874-3273. http://a1968.g.akamai.net/7/1968/3433/f0ffe77c3d8b8b/www.colonelskids.com/media/qualitymatters.pdf

***Know Your World ***
OneWorld U.S. a project of the Benton Foundation, is now offering a Daily Headlines e-mail service -- saving you time by culling through hundreds of nonprofit and specialized news agency articles every weekday to find topical and engaging articles on environment, development, human rights, U.S. foreign policy, and globalization. For more information, e-mail [email protected]
http://owa.benton.org/archives/oneworldus.html

***Family Learning Facing Cuts ***
Family literacy programs say they have plenty of evidence to show their effectiveness in helping parents improve their own skills while teaching their children, but the Bush budget proposes cutting $50 million from Even Start, the major family literacy program, and giving the money instead to the Reading First State Grants program. http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/Budget03/Summary/SectionII/A.html#4.

***Families Working, Children Learning Organizer's Kit ***
According to the Child Care Now: Families Working, Children Learning campaign, a slow economy and growing state deficits mean federal investments in the Child Care Development Block Grants for quality child care and after-school programs for working families are more important than ever. If you agree, here's a toolkit to help you make your voice heard!
http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/OrganizersKit.pdf

***Leave No Child Behind Act Would Bolster Health Coverage ***
The Children's Defense Fund says that the Leave No Child Behind Act (S. 940 and H.R. 1990) would create a Medicare-type guarantee of coverage for all children, allot more federal funds for preventing and treating childhood asthma and lead poisoning, and reduce environmental health risks to children.
http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/act.htm

*** Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member ***

There are sponsorship opportunities at the KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival for Coalition members. If you have not received sponsorship information by March 4 and are interested in joining our great Circle of Sponsors, please contact our office: 505.989.8076.

If you've found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider becoming a member of KIDS FIRST! Members help underwrite the various projects of this organization and are a critical component of our success.

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media's relies on the generous support of its members and donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An independent producer membership begins at $200/year. Visit our website (http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org) or call our office for an application form.

**** KIDS FIRST! Book ***
Our book, A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, is available now. To order your book, call our office, 505-989-8076 or send in your request, to [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. You can view sample pages of our book at http://www.pgpress.com/Book_Excerpts/kidvid/


****************VISIT OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
http://www.a-imagination.com
http://www.activeparenting.com http://www.BabyAboutTown.com
http://www.babybrother.com
http://www.babysongs.com
http://www.babyeinstein.com
http://www.babygenius.com
http://www.carrisbrook.com
http://www.devine-ent.com
http://disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/
http://www.familiesoftheworld.com
http://www.finemediagroup.com
http://www.filmmarketonline.com
http://www.hollywoodvideo.com
http://www.hunktabunkta.com
http://www.iluminadaproductions.com
http://www.itsybitsye.com
http://www.kathybyers.com
http://www.krikou.net
http://www.lafete.com
http://www.letscreate.com
http://www.Littlehardhats.com
http://www.littlemammoth.com
http://www.magicfrank.com
http://www.montereymedia.com
http://www.mothering.com
http://www.mybestenglish.net
http://www.nafce.org
http://www.pixiesage.com
http://www.sesameworkshop.org
http://www.splashesfromtheriver.com/web/pl1.html
http://www.sosmart.com
http://www.tcfhe.com
http://www.upbeatmm.com
http://www.vtmproductionsinc.com
http://www.warner.com
http://www.zula.com

*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************


The American Center for Children and Media, Prix Jeunesse International and Goethe-Institut New York invite you to watch and discuss children's television items and short programs from around the world, Tuesday, March 5, 2002, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm , Goethe-Institut New York, 1014 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street).

This event is intended for professionals whose work involves children and media. There is no fee but advance registration is required and space is limited. To register, send a fax to 847-390-9435 or reply to [email protected]

March 14 & 15: BRAINCAMP 6, New York City - Speakers include: Elie Dekel - President, Saban Consumer Products, Fox Family Worldwide; Robert Friedman - President, AOL's Interactive Marketing Unit; Bill Jemas - Coo of Marvel Enterprises and President of Publishing, Licensing and New Media: Gen Fukunaga - Chairman, Funimation Productions; Faith Rogow, Ph. D. - Founder and President of the Alliance for a Media Literate America; Tom Vellios - former President & CEO of Zany Brainy, Inc. For More Information Contact [email protected]

Women's Equality Summit April 8-9, 2002 Washington, DC. Go to the website, www.feminist.org/summitor call NCWO (202) 393-7122.

April 14 - 27 KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

April 20-27 KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 in Los Angeles

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]

March 15, 2002

KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
March 15, 2002 Issue #5
Ranny Levy, Editor
[email protected]
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Welcome to KIDS FIRST! NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's Media unless otherwise noted.

Quote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Dear Friends,

I've been promising you an update on our KIDS FIRST! FILM, VIDEO AND DVD FESTIVAL 2002 and am delighted to share this information with you. Our LA Planning Group has been diligently working on securing theaters, programming, entertainment, and give-away items so that we can bring you a week full of fun and thoughtful films and videos. Following is some information to hold onto:

Please SAVE THE DATE!!
The festival will be April 20 - 27! in both Los Angeles, California and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
April 20 through 27 - Edwards Theaters, Aliso Viejo and Simi Valley, CA
April 28 - The Zimmer Children's Museum, Los Angeles, CA
April 19 through 27 - Cinema Center, Fort Wayne, IN

We'll feature:
• Nominees for the KIDS FIRST! Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award
• Film and video premieres for kids ages two to fifteen
• Costumed Characters
• More than 20 films, videos and DVDs from domestic and international producers and major studios

The Festival plans to travel to eleven cities throughout the U.S. with a grand finale in New York City next fall. Stay tuned for details.

FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING
Only KIDS FIRST!-endorsed titles are shown at the Festival, giving parents assurance that all selections are free of gratuitous violence, bias or sexual content and are appropriate for each of the three recommended age groups (2-6, 6-12 and 12-15). The programming represents the best of children's programming as determined by the diligent KIDS FIRST! evaluators, a group of more than 3300 volunteer adults and children nationwide.

The Festival reflects a variety of producers and titles that vary in content, style and tone. Parents will be glad to know that the films are shown in clusters for each of the three age groups, so they can conveniently attend back-to-back showings of titles appropriate for their child's age. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with a live panel of KIDS FIRST! Junior Film Critics B kids, ages eight to thirteen, who are active in the KIDS FIRST! Junior Film Critics Clubs. Additional entertainment, such as costumed characters from several of the Festival titles, will keep both little ones and parents happy.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS*********************
*****************************

Titles for two- to six-year-olds
The original Gumby (ca.1955-1970), coming to video and DVD this summer, is sure to be a nostalgic hit with parents when he makes his big-screen debut at the Festival and a special LIVE APPEARANCE!! Sneak previews of not-yet-released episodes from several top-rated and enormously popular TV series, including Jim Henson's Bear in the Big Blue House and Nickelodeon's beloved Hispanic heroine, Dora the Explorer. Sesame Workshop will premiere its hilarious new video, Bert and Ernie's Word Play, scheduled for release this June, and a new Dragon Tales episode.

Titles for six- to twelve-year-olds
From Paris to India to an imaginary planet, this selection of titles will open windows to new worlds for young viewers and allow them to experience a range of emotions. Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn by Big Idea Productions, Inc. (known for the highly touted Veggie Tales Series) will keep the kids in stitches while showing them great role models. Monet: Shadow and Light (Devine Entertainment Corp.), gives a kid's-eye view of the Impressionist Movement in Paris at the close of the 19th century B and insight into the creative process through Claude Monet's eyes. Les Production La Fete of Canada delivers a deeply textured and moving tale from India about an impoverished village boy who is sent to a boarding school in the city in My Little Devil. Shot on 35mm, this production is an extraordinary children's film that will strike chords on many levels - in parents as much as in their children.

Twelve- to fifteen-year-olds
Teens who think they have "seen it all" are perfect candidates to see Nomadic Pictures' award-winning Legacy, a film documentary that follows an African-American family's five-year journey out of public assistance. Matter-of-fact, non-judgmental and uncontrived, the film promotes understanding through a full gamut of social issues: drugs, welfare, single parenthood, public education -and most of all, human nature.

A complete festival program will be posted on our website on or before April 1.
Tickets may be ordered online after April 1.

Major Festival 2002 sponsors include Edwards Cinemas, LA Parent, Orange County Parenting, PAX-TV, Paramount Home Entertainment, and Buena Vista Home Video (Disney).

I hope you will join us in Los Angeles and Fort Wayne for what promises to be a very exciting Festival. And, if you're not able to get there, hopefully the Festival will come to a city near you. We are still looking for partners to co-produce festivals with us. If this appeals to you, please let us know. Your taking the initiative to bring the Festival to your community can make a difference.

Be well and stay in touch,
Ranny Levy
President
Coalition for Quality Children's Media

New Endorsements**************************
**********************

TV **********************
****

** CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE EPISODE #15: FINDING YOUR WAY - The unique and reality-based series gives a "real world" look at ten freshmen and what goes on inside an actual high school. Adult Juror Comments: Balanced, reflective insight that validates anxieties young teens experience about transitioning into high school. Effectively organized. Segments are timed and paced well, photography is excellent. Great communication tool for middle school. Kid Juror Comments: Middle schoolers got a lot out of it. "I liked the candid, documentary style." "It's realistic and funny." "The camera effects were radical." High schoolers were uninterested. "It's like a video of my first day at school." Video. 25 min.; $0; Age: 12-14. WAM! AMERICA'S KIDZ

CD ROM ********************
***********

*** CLIFFORD LEARNING ACTIVITIES Children explore and learn with Clifford, Cleo, and T-Bone as they travel around Birdwell Island helping their neighbors and playing ten skill-building activities. Adult Juror Comments: Excellent, strong software program. No glitches; runs smoothly with minimal parental help and little frustration for kids. Great graphics and music, darling animation. Multi-leveled. Reinforces kindergarten and preschool lessons. "I can't say enough." Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it immensely. "I really like it. Can I take it home with me?" "It was so much fun." "I just love Clifford, he is funny and so nice to his friends." "I get to add and sing too!" "I practiced my letters." "It's the BEST!"/ CD-Rom. WIN/MAC; $19.95; Age: 3-7. SCHOLASTIC ENTERTAINMENT

*** I SPY TREASURE HUNT By exploring Smuggler's Cove and solving I Spy riddles, users cleverly reveal pieces of three treasure maps. Assemble the pieces and follow the clues on your exciting hunt to discover the unique treasures left behind by the town's legendary pirates. Adult Juror Comments: Clever, challenging and entertaining. No errors and no problems. Video and audio ran smoothly. Grand computer art. The difficulties are in ranges, not levels. Encourages children to look at things differently. Very positive feedback. No hints though. Kid Juror Comments: All agreed that it was fun - but hard. Some got *VERY* frustrated. "Sometimes we were screaming and yelling when we found a new piece or couldn't find something. But we still liked it." "The program was simple to use." "I would give it a 15+ out of 10." CD-Rom. WIN/MAC; n/a min.; $29.95; Age: 6-10. SCHOLASTIC ENTERTAINMENT.

VIDEO***************
********
*** DORA THE EXPLORER: TO THE RESCUE In Three Little Piggies, Dora the Explorer and Boots the monkey need help finding three piggies before Swiper the Fox swipes their blue ribbons. In Lost and Found, Dora finds a Spanish baby bird who needs help getting back to her mommy. Adult Juror Comments: Smart, adventuresome, friendly and fun. Interactive format encourages kids to get up and be involved. Stylized structure, pace, fun music and lots of repetition are easy to follow. "Kids can learn Spanish and how to follow directions while helping Dora." Kid Juror Comments: Enthusiastically swept up in the action: shouting answers, dancing with Boots, singing the songs and repeating the Spanish words. "I want my friends to learn Spanish." "Dora is even nice to that bad Swiper." "I want to read a map." "I love Dora." Video. 49 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-5. PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

** TALKING HANDS -- A SIGN LANGUAGE VIDEO FOR CHILDREN Teaches more than 30 common words using signs and gestures based on ASL and SEE. Carefully selected familiar signs are easy to imitate and promote early communication. Kids are encouraged to imitate other kids and adults as they demonstrate each sign. Adult Juror Comments: Fine educational video, very child-friendly and very strong and interesting. Excellent diversity: many races and ages, both genders, and people with physical disabilities and developmental delays. Wonderful, loving interactions. Consistent format. Kid Juror Comments: Most were immediately drawn into the video and enjoyed showing how they learned the signs. "I liked learning to talk with my hands." Some had trouble staying focused on the material. "It is very long." "Everyone is really nice to each other." Video. 45 min.; $16.95; Age: 3-8. SMALL FRY PRODUCTIONS.

** HERE COMES A MARCHING BAND (TUNE BUDDIES). Experience the sights, sound and pageantry of a marching band. The host, Dave guides viewers on a tour of the instruments and then tries his own hand at leading the band - with interesting results. Adult Juror Comments: Interesting and informative. Uses humor to teach about instruments, history and logistics of the marching band. Stresses the importance of practice, commitment and teamwork. Much of the information is conveyed by teens. Kid Juror Comments: Everyone was impressed with how much work it is to march in formation while playing an instrument. "The band worked together well." They thought Dave was "funning" when he was trying to be in the band. "I liked it when Dave hit his nose with the cymbals." Video. 32 min.; $11.95; Age: 6-10. WARNER BROS. PUBLICATIONS.

** THE SVENGALI DECK, THE (MAGIC FRANK'S LESSONS IN MAGIC). The colorful Frank DeMasi demonstrates 15 tricks with a Svengali deck of cards and five tricks with a regular deck. Both decks are included with the video set. Adult Juror Comments: Good content and good teaching. Clear and comprehensible. Consistent approach throughout - not condescending. Tricks are easy enough to understand but difficult enough for kids to impress their friends. Encourages communication and cooperation. Kid Juror Comments: Most just loved it, especially those already interested in magic. Even kids too young to actually do the tricks enjoyed watching older ones learn and perform them. "Watch this, you'll never EVER figure out it works!" "These tricks are cool." Video. 59 min.; $24.95; Age: 6-12. MAGIC FRANK.

MEDIA NEWS *****************************
****************

*** April 5: Tune Out Violence Campaign ***

Join the 9th annual "Tune Out Violence Campaign" on April 5th, sponsored by the National Association for Family and Community Education. They ask that you make a conscious effort to avoid watching or listening to violent television, music, movies, videos, or radio programming for the entire day.

Televison, computers and music can be beneficial if they are used wisely. It is up to us, as adults, to help children discover the wonders of media instead of being influenced by senseless violence and other potentially harmful programming.

*** Virginia Legislature Defeats Resolution on TV-Turnoff Week ***

As an example of industry lobbying muscle, consider the case of the Virginia Senate, which tried to pass an innocuous proposal to encourage families to turn off their televisions for one week in April. The non-binding resolution was in support of TV Turn-Off Week, but the television lobby successfully twisted the arms of all 15 Committee members and killed the measure. So while the Senate could not support TV Turn-Off Week, they did manage to support Brunswick Stew Day and Children of America Finding Hope Day. As long as the children find their hope on television .... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1779-2002Feb25.html


*** From Toys to Video Games in Warp Time:
Kids are Growing Older Younger ***

Did you know that children now abandon toys and traditional play by the age of 8, moving right into the world of video and electronic games? Did you know that toy sales have remained static over the past two years, while video and computer game sales were up 43 percent in 2001? "This cultural shift is robbing kids of their childhood," the article notes. It starts off talking about Barbie, but moves on to discuss a lot of interesting toy industry trends. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19671-2002Feb16.html

*** Florida and Georgia Introduce Bills to Stop the Sale of Adult-Rated Video Games to Children. ***

Since younger and younger children are being introduced to ever-more violent video games, legislators in both Georgia and Florida have introduced bills to enforce industry ratings and make it a misdemeanor to sell or rent games marked "Mature" or "Adults Only" to minors. According to a recent undercover survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission, 78 percent of unaccompanied children ages 13-16 were able to buy adult-rated games at retail outlets. Of course, the industry ratings are "voluntary," which means they have no teeth. The video game industry has already hired a well-connected lobbyist to oppose the Georgia bill. The Florida bill faces less opposition, at least for the moment. If you want to make it harder for children to purchase violent, adult-rated video games -- and you live in Georgia or Florida --please contact your legislators and ask them to actively work for passage of these bills. You can read the Florida bill is at: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Session/index.cfm?Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&BillNum=0730
To offer support, contact members of the at Senate Committee on Criminal Justice at:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/View_Page.pl?Tab=committees&Submenu=1&File=index.html&Directory=committees/senate/cj/

*** Young Teens who Watch R-Rated Movies more Likely to Smoke and Drink ***

A study by Dartmouth Medical School researchers concluded that kids who watch R-rated movies are much more likely to try smoking and drinking. The study found that the association occurs regardless of how strict parents are in general, or how much involvement the parents have in their children's lives. "Moreover, lack of parental movie restrictions showed a stronger association with having tried smoking or drinking than any of the other parenting measures," the researchers found. You can read an article about the study at: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/hsn/20020214/hl_hsn/the_movies_made_me_do_it Or you can read the actual study at: http://www.acponline.org/journals/ecp/janfeb02/dalton.htm

***Benton Foundation Finds Bush Budget Reversal on Digital Divide ***

The Bush administration has abandoned the decade-long national fight to bridge the digital divide, argues Tony Wilhelm, director of the communications Policy Program at the Benton Foundation. According to Wilhelm, the administration's proposed FY 2003 budget has stripped over $100 million in public investments previously available for community technology grants and IT training programs--programs that offer real payoffs to rural communities, the working poor, minorities and children. http://www.benton.org/press/2002/pr0211.html


*** Child Abuse on the Internet - Ending the Silence***

Child pornography and the sexual abuse of children through misuse of the media and the Internet are complex yet closely related issues. Not only do they necessitate complex solutions, they also demand a social response from all sectors of society. This volume records the response of these various sectors and shows how individuals and organizations can cooperate effectively. It describes the major work being carried out in some African countries, in Albania, Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and shows the efforts being made to share information and build networks. A reference section provides the site locations of organizations that have made significant advances in protecting children online. In addition, this book offers an action plan to encourage cooperation with others in the same fields in a coherent and coordinated manner. Co-published by BERGHAHN BOOKS and UNESCO PUBLISHING. ISBN 92-3-103728-5 For more information, contact Solange Belin, UNESCO Publishing [email protected]


Parent and Family News *****************************
****************************

*** Physical Activity Guidelines For Infants & Toddlers ***

Confining babies and young children to strollers, play pens, car and infant seats for hours at a time, may delay development such as rolling over, crawling, walking and even cognitive development. Certainly such restrictions can begin the path to sedentary preferences and childhood obesity, warns the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). Infants should be encouraged to be physically active from the beginning of life.

In the last decade, while the relationship between physical activity and health in adults and older children has been highlighted by various national health organizations and government agencies, the importance of physical activity for infants, toddlers and preschoolers have not been addressed until now.

Guidelines for Infants
There are five guidelines for each age group and they are intended to answer questions relative to the kind of physical activity, the environment and the individuals responsible for facilitating the activity. Part of the infant's day should be spent with a caregiver or parent who provides systematic opportunities for planned physical activity. These experiences should incorporate a variety of baby games such as peekaboo and pat-a-cake and sessions in which the child is held, rocked and carried to new environments.

Guideline 1.Infants should interact with parents and/or caregivers in daily physical activities that are dedicated to promoting the exploration of their environment.
Guideline 2.Infants should be placed in safe settings that facilitate physical activity and do not restrict movement for prolonged periods of time.
Guideline 3.Infants' physical activity should promote the development of movement skills.
Guideline 4.Infants should have an environment that meets or exceeds recommended safety standards for performing large muscle activities.
Guideline 5.Individuals responsible for the well-being of infants should be aware of the importance of physical activity and facilitate the child's movement skills.

Guidelines for Toddlers and Preschoolers
For toddlers, basic movement skills such as running, jumping, throwing and kicking do not just appear because a child grows older, but emerge from an interaction between hereditary potential and movement experience. These behaviors are also clearly influenced by the environment. For instance, a child who does not have access to stairs may be delayed in stair climbing and a child who is discouraged from bouncing and chasing balls may lag in hand-eye coordination.

Guideline 1.Toddlers should accumulate at least 30 minutes daily of structured physical activity; preschoolers at least 60 minutes.
Guideline 2.Toddlers and preschoolers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours per day of daily, unstructured physical activity and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.
Guideline 3.Toddlers should develop movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movement tasks; preschoolers should develop competence in movement skills that are building blocks for more complex movement tasks.
Guideline 4.Toddlers and preschoolers should have indoor and outdoor areas that meet or exceed recommended safety standards for performing large muscle activities.
Guideline 5.Individuals responsible for the well-being of toddlers and preschoolers should be aware of the importance of physical activity and facilitate the child's movement skills.

"Obesity is a major health problem in children and adolescents. Over the past 20 years, obesity has tripled among adolescents and doubled among children in this country," said Nazrat Mirza, MD, a general pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. "The rapid rise of obesity is due to decreased physical activity and increased sedentary activities such as watching television and computer and video games."

For more information, go to http://www.aahperd.org. Copies of the full document are available by calling 1-800-321-0789.

***Exiting Nirvana ***

As the numbers of children diagnosed with autism climbs, more families, teachers and therapists are looking for guidance. Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter's Life with Autism offers a look at how autism has been experienced by Jessy Park, now 40, and her family. This review by Abigail Reifsnyder first appeared in The Berkshire Eagle http://www.connectforkids.org

*** Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member ***

If you've found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider becoming a member of KIDS FIRST! Members help underwrite the various projects of this organization and are a critical component of our success.

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media's relies on the generous support of its members and donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An independent producer membership begins at $200/year. Visit our website (http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org) or call our office for an application form.

**** KIDS FIRST! Book ***
Our book, A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, is available now. To order your book, call our office, 505-989-8076 or send in your request, to [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. You can view sample pages of our book at http://www.pgpress.com/Book_Excerpts/kidvid/

*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************

Women's Equality Summit April 8-9, 2002 Washington, DC. Go to the website, www.feminist.org/summitor call NCWO (202) 393-7122.

April 20-27 KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 in Los Angeles .

April 20-27 KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

July 27 - Aug. 2 New York City and the mountain campus in Boone ,North Carolina, will be the site for 2 summer sessions in Media Literacy offered July of this year by the graduate program at Appalachian State University. The advanced class will run out of the university's loft in NYC July 27-August 2. Special guest instructor will be Kathleen Tyner, author of Literacy in a Digital Age. Tyner will team with David Considine. Class is open to students who have not taken pre-requisite classes at ASU, but media literacy experience must be demonstrated and approved prior to registration acceptance. For more information, visit http://www.ci.appstate.edu/programs/edmedia/medialit for more details.

July 15-18 Project Look Sharp, a media literacy initiative based in Ithaca, NY, is announcing its annual Summer Media Literacy Institute for K-12 educators in all curriculum areas. This four-day immersion in media literacy provides teachers and teaching support staff with the knowledge, skills and training to integrate media analysis and production into their curriculum. For the first time, the institute is being opened up to educators from across the U.S. The four-day institute will be offered twice during the summer, July 15-18 and August 12-15. Morning sessions will focus on the theory and practice of media literacy in the K-12 classroom, led by Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry, co-directors of Project Look Sharp. Afternoon sessions will focus on digital media production and its integration into the curriculum, led by Jeff Spence and Roger Sevilla. Throughout the week, participants will meet individually with a "coach" to develop and design a media literacy integration project for their classroom to implement during the following school year, with follow-up support provided by Project Look Sharp. For information, contact Eileen Jacobs at Project Look Sharp: [email protected] 607-274-3471 http://www.ithaca.edu/looksharp


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KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

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