to the KIDS FIRST!® Home
Pollock, Newsletter Editor
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
is a progressive discovery of our ignorance. - Will
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
September 7, 2006 Issue #9
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
1. Letters from the Editor and President
2. Web Store Features
4. New Endorsements
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. Cool Classroom Clips and Give Me a
Little Sign by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Media
for Learning by Dr. Toy and Sun Paper Plate Craft
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is
granted with complete attribution.
the Famous Do Children's Films - Interviews with Daniel
Roebuck and Jim Hanks
in Your Movies
KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®
an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store
Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national,
not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Because we
believe that media profoundly affect children, our mission
is to 1) teach children critical viewing skills and 2) to
increase the visibility and availability of quality children's
2006 Jan 3 / Jan
18 / Feb 7 / Feb
21 / Mar 14/ Mar
28 / Apr 4 / Apr
25 / May 2/ May
16/ June 6 /June
July 4 / July
18 / Aug 1 / Aug
Links to newsletters from 2005 or earlier
may be found at the bottom of this page
Welcome to KIDS FIRST!® NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's
Media unless otherwise noted.
I have to admit
I am looking forward to fall. I am not looking forwad to our boys
heading back to school, but I am looking to establishing a routine
again. Today I had the great privilege of interviewing Deborah Forte,
former KIDS FIRST!® board member, and creator of the award-winning
show, Maya a& Miguel. This month Maya and Miguel meet
a new friend who is hearing impaired. The kids learn to sign and
play with the friend through his interpreter. When my children and
I finished viewing the promotional copy of this episode, we realized
that we had just viewed a tri-lingual show, and thanks to brilliant
writing, we understood every word! More details on the show are
told in my article below.
As always, I
welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed;
notices of media awards, publications, and products; or suggestions
for articles. . . Please drop me a line.
is one of the most exciting months of the year for us as we prepare
for our annual KIDS FIRST! Best Awards Celebration. This year we
have teamed up with the Los
Angeles International Children's Film Festival to present the
seventh annual KIDS FIRST! Best Awards. A record 20 categories will
honor works by studios, independent producers and elementary, high
school and college students. The Awards will take place on Saturday,
October 14th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of
the KIDS FIRST! Best Day—11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.—which
will include a special screening of Flicka, starring Tim
McGraw, Alison Lohman and Maria Bello.
Our festivals and programs have grown significantly over the years,
and we're proud to bring this year's awards show to Los Angeles.
The increased recognition of our programs throughout the country
has enabled us to add additional categories to this year's awards
show, and the competition remains extremely competitive, with a
record number of 571 submissions.
Every fall, the Coalition bestows its coveted KIDS FIRST! Best Awards
to films that excel in their categoy, as well as five Best of the
Fest Awards that honor the top five films played during the past
year's festivals. The 20 categories for this year's awards are:
• Best Indie Short—Ages 2-5
• Best Series—Ages 2-5
• Best Feature—Ages 2-5
• Best Series—Ages 5-8
• Best Documentary—Ages 5-8
• Best Feature—Ages 5-8
• Best Short (under 10 minutes)—ages 5-12
• Best Short (over 10 minutes)—ages 5-12
• Best Short—Ages 8-12
• Best International Short—Ages 8-12
• Best Documentary—Ages 8-12
• Best Feature—Ages 8-12
• Best Independent Feature—Ages 8-12
• Best Series—Ages 8-12
• Best Documentary—Ages 12-18
• Best Feature—Ages 12-18
• Best Animated Short—Ages 12-18
A complete list of nominees may
be viewed here.
KIDS FIRST! Best Day will begin at 11:30 a.m. with special pre-school
screenings of such programs as Curious George; Roberto:
The Insect Architect; Things That Make Me Laugh and Peep
and the Big Wide World. Throughout the day, families are invited
to participate in a variety of fun activities, which will feature
costumed characters, photo ops, goodie bags and surprise giveaways.
At 1:00 p.m., families can enjoy a special presentation of Me,
Eloise, starring Lynn Redgrave and Tim Curry. At 2:30, the feature
presentation of Flicka and the KIDS FIRST! Awards Ceremony
will take place, featuring a wide array of presenters. We hope to
see many of you there!
I am in awe
of how many special events are coming up during the next couple
of months as our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival collaborators launch
into full swing this fall season. Please be sure to go to our venue
screenings page to check on screenings in your area. You can
also catch up on events at our online
and President, KIDS FIRST!®
JUROR TRAINING PROGRAM
about what kids watch? Want to do something about it? Become a KIDS FIRST!® juror. It's easy. Take our online training. It will
take you about four hours to complete and we will provide you with
your own personal trainer. The $40 fee is 100% reimbursable once
you evaluate six titles for KIDS FIRST!® . You may keep any
movie you approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians,
parents, and daycare providers to build their own quality media
library while helping evaluate movies for others. To register or
get more information, please visit
our KIDS FIRST!® juror's page.
KIDS FIRST!® WEB STORE FEATURES
The correct link to Pocket Snails Letter Adventure is http://www.kidsfirstmedia.com/detail/206124.html
Babble DVD. Exposes children to early developing sounds and
words, as well as introducing them to simple sign language. DVD.
45 min.; $15.99; Age: Adult. Talking Child LLC.
Big Aquarium. Visit the largest freshwater aquarium in the world
in Chattanooga, TN. Shows hundreds of fish and animals from various
habitats, divers feeding fish and looks behind-the-scenes at the
control center, the veterinarian and the research lab. DVD. 48 min.;
$14.95; Age: 5-8. Little Mammoth Media.
Big Space Shuttle. Explores the behind-the-scenes action at
the space shuttle program, including the astronaut training, the
crew roles, shuttle maintenance and orbital gravity experiments.
DVD. 65 min.; $11.96; Age: 6-10. Little Mammoth Media.
and Shapes: Jack the Cuddly Dog. Soothing new education video
for babies. Jack is a puppy who lives in Central Park, New York
City. He explores colors, shapes, animals, flowers, mountains, trees
and more. Classical music pieces are performed by award-winning
concert pianist, Cheryl Tschanz Newkirk. KIDS FIRST!®Adult DVD.
28 min. ; $12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby Productions. DVD. 28 min.
; $12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby Productions, LLC.
of Teddy Ruxpin: The Journey Begins. A whole new generation
can experience the magical stories that teach values like courage,
friendship, positive attitude and determination. Featuring five
original episodes from the hit children's television series. DVD.
120 min.; $11.98; Age: 5-8. First National Pictures.
Things Work. Includes The Big Aquarium and The Big
Space Shuttle. In The Big Aquarium, visit the largest
freshwater aquarium in the world in Chattanooga, TN. Shows hundreds
of fish and animals from various habitats, divers feeding fish,
and looks behind-the-scenes at the control center, the veterinarian
and the research lab. In The Big Space Shuttle, explore the
behind-the-scenes action at the space shuttle program, including
the astronaut training, the crew roles, shuttle maintenance and
orbital gravity experiments. Audio. 98 min.; $29.90; Age: 5-8. Little
Literature and Myths. One
of Ranny's picks! Another great collection of children's favorite
stories, from Noah's Ark to People, based on Peter Spier's People
of the World, every one of these is a real winner and worthy of
considering for your evergreen collection. DVD.
133 min.; $20.76; Age: 5-10.
Rangers: The Great Race. Excellent for home or preschool road
safety awareness. Bright colors and cute characters are very appealing.
Contains lots of poignant safety facts including details such as
why trucks can't slow down as fast as cars can. DVD. 24 min.; $10.39;
Age: 5-8. Educational Adventures.
New Endorsements can be found at
*** = Titles
receiving the highest scores are given a three-star rating.
** = Titles that meet or exceed the criteria receive a two-star
rating. * = Titles that meet the baseline criteria but require some extra
consideration on the part of the viewer receive a one-star rating.
Firefighter Frank. Starring Andy, an 8-year-old boy with
a vivid imagination. When Andy's teacher gives the class an assignment
to look for fire violations at home, he doesn't waste any time.
Before you know it everyone in the neighborhood has received a fire
citation. Andy spends an afternoon at the fire station with his
uncle, Firefighter Frank, where he meets a delightful cast of characters.
Adult Juror Comments: Fun animation, simple and quirky story. Through
the story of a young boy's experiences, fire lessons are taught.
Offers a good balance of being informative on a scary subject, giving
statistics that are helpful to parents while impressing children
with the seriousness of fires. Kid Juror Comments: "I loved
that film," exclaimed one of our jurors. "I like learning
about firefighters, learned not to hide when there is a fire, and
that if there a lot of smoke and you can't escape, to go near the
bed because that's the first place firefighters will look for you."
All the kids said they'd watch this again because there's so much
information to remember. DVD. 35 min. $19.95; Age: 5-8. TOON STUDIOS.
Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler. Together, Sheerluck
Holmes and Dr. Watson can solve any crime. But when the valuable
golden ruler goes missing, will Sheerluck remember the all-important
golden rule in time to rescue the ruler and save his friendship?
English and Spanish audio tracks. Adult Juror Comments: It's hard
not to love a Veggie Tales movie. The characters are familiar and
the story lines are always fresh, fun, timely and exciting. Great
for transcending race issues since they're all "veggies."
Exhibits great examples of how to treat others. Bible verses are
mentioned in a very subtle way. This title addresses the Golden
Rule, tolerance, kindness and empathy. Kid Juror Comments: Loved
it. "We love the Veggie Tales! Bob and Larry rock!" They
always sing the theme song, and we dance along." By the time
the kids filled out their evaluation form, they had already watched
it a second time. "Even my parents love the Veggies."
"All our favorites are here - especially Bob and Larry. We
like the others, too." Both boys and girls enjoy them equally.
"There are always lessons to be learned. In this one Larry
was being selfish and he hurt Bob's feelings. He learned that he
needed to share the credit with his friend and be a team player."
DVD. 52 min.; $14.99; Age: 5-12. BIG IDEA PRODUCTIONS, INC.
FROM KIDS FIRST!® FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2006
For a complete list of all Festival titles currently
being shown, visit
2. L. 40 min. Virtual instruments spring to life and perform
eight musical pieces. Computer animation and digitally created music
are melded to form an entirely new genre of entertainment. Includes
eight pieces: Starship Groove (drums, other), Pogo Sticks (acoustics,
percussion), Resonant Chamber (strings), Cathedral Pictures (orchestral),
Pipe Dream 2 (strings, percussion), Fiber Bundles (percussion, other),
Gyro Drums (percussion), Heavy Light (other). From Animusic, an
American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI music;
created with their own proprietary MIDImotion software, and various
animation packages such as Discreet 3D Studio Max. Age: 8-18. Animusic.
& The Bee. L. 112 min. The inspirational story of Akeelah
Anderson (Keke Palmer), an eleven-year-old girl from south Los Angeles
with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother Tanya
(Angela Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contests, for
which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne);
her principal Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong) and the proud residents
of her neighborhood. Akeelah's aptitude earns her an opportunity
to compete for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and,
in turn, unites her neighborhood who witness the courage and inspiration
of one amazing little girl. Ages 5-12. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.
Ballerina: All Dancers On Deck. L. 50 min. Join Angelina and
her friends as they set sail on an ocean adventure to Miss Lilly's
homeland, Dachovia, for a very special dance performance. Along
the way, they meet Yuri, a sailor, who is in love with the ship
captain's daughter. English and Spanish. Ages 3-6. Twentieth Century
Fox Home Entertainment.
the Builder: Built to Be Wild. L. 50 min. Yee-haw! Welcome to
the Wild West! It's time for hoe-downs and show downs when Bob the
Builder and his can-do crew head west in Built To Be Wild, his all-new
musical special! Go west as Bob and the crew are thrown into an
adventure filled with gold mines, campfires and the legend of a
long lost treasure. Join the team as they meet a cowgirl named Rio,
her horse, Dollar, and her pickup truck, Jackaroo, and take on the
biggest building adventure yet! English, Spanish and French. Ages
2-5. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Rock, Complete Second Season. L. 175 min. Want more Fraggley
fun? Return to where it all began with the complete second season
of Fraggle Rock, featuring all 24 episodes from season 2 available
for the first time on DVD. So save your worries for another day
and experience 175 minutes of frag-tastic fun in the ultimate Fraggle
Rock collection. Get Down with Fraggle Rock! Ages 5-8. Twentieth
Century Fox Home Entertainment.
L. 85 min. A stunning look at the world's most pressing problems
through the eyes of Nobel Laureates - Wangari Maathai, Amartya Sen,
Dr. Harold E. Varmus, Jody Williams, Sir Joseph Rotblat, Richard
E. Smalley, Steve Weinberg, Ahmed Zewail, and Archbishop Desmond
Tutu. Filmed in the U.S. A., France, England, India, and Africa,
Nobelity follows filmmaker Turk Pipkin's personal journey to find
enlightening answers about the kind of world our children and grandchildren
will know. It combines the insights of nine distinguished Nobelists
who have a first-person view of world problems and the children
who will be most challenged by those problems. Ages 12-18. Monterey
AND RENEWING MEMBERS
welcome these new or renewing members and visit their web sites.
Bay Entertainment. Anchor Bay Entertainment is dedicated to
releasing outstanding programs and films. The company utilizes the
finest elements possible to bring quality films to the home entertainment
Productions. Educational and instructional, kids get to perform
along with The Shout About Kids, they will laugh, move to the beat,
cheer, and learn numbers and colors
National Pictures. FNP is your source for fantastic Children`s
Animation and Family titles on DVD. They are committed to bringing
quality home entertainment to families across America at a great
Communications offers foreign language, bilingual and multicultural
educational products and services. Bilingual Books, Video, DVD,
Crafts, Multilingual and Multicultural Marketing Consulting &
Language Workshop for Children.
LWFC structured playgroups let parents capture the window of opportunity
years when children possess their greatest capacity to absorb and
Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Pen Wins Award
Congratulations to the creators of The Pen, a KIDS FIRST!®
Film Festival title, which won First Place in the Dramatic - Short
Category -- at The Indie Gathering Film Festival, in Cleveland,
Kids Picks up Jay Jay the Jet Plane
PBS Kids picks up PorchLight Entertainment's preschool series, Jay
Jay the Jet Plane, another KIDS FIRST Film Festival title,,
through June 2009. Jay Jay launched on PBS Kids in June 2001 and
is currently seen on 220 PBS member stations.
Gets Distribution Deal
Rhino Entertainment has sealed a broad distribution deal with Braincandy,
producers kid music DVDs/CDs including KIDS FIRST!® endorsed
My 5 Senses. Under the terms of the agreement, Rhino will
be the exclusive distributor for Braincandy video and music titles
at mass market retailers.
Filmmaking Programming for Kids
the in-school outreach arm of the International Family Film Festival
and the What IFFF? Kids Film Camp and Festival, has partnered with
the Divya Chaya Trust to bring their digital filmmaking program
to kids ages 8-18 in Delhi, India. According to Dr. Suzanne Shoemaker,
Program Director, "This is a pilot program to begin to connect
children worldwide through filmmaking."
AND PARENTING NEWS
releases Lesson Connections
Lesson Connections, K-3 leveled reading programs, is designed to
align to and complement existing and widely used core reading programs,
including Open Court Reading, Harcourt-Trophies, Houghton Mifflin
Reading, and Scott Foresman Reading. More Lesson Connections information
is available at www.scholastic.com/lessonconnections.
National Deaf Awareness Week (September 24 September 30)
Give Me A Little Sign, an innovative episode of Maya and Miguel,
premieres Monday, September 25 on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings)
for National Deaf Awareness Week, and will be broadcast in open
Cool Classroom Clips and Give Me a Little
Sign by Christine L. Pollock
when it was a huge production to show a film in school? Those days
are now history. With resource rooms, savvy librarians, and televisions
in most classrooms, educators integrate media into their lesson
plans with ease. Tough lessons become entertaining as children watch
their favorite television characters teaching them math, science,
art, history, and general life lessons. Learning really big numbers
becomes a game as children share experiences with LeVar in Reading
Rainbow's, How Much Is a Million? As new faces appear in
the preschool and kindergarten classrooms, titles such as the KIDS FIRST!® favorite, Berenstain
Bears: Discover School, smooth the transition from home
to school. Dragon
Tales: Experience New Things, helps children learn positive
ways in which they can adapt to change and new experiences, even
if the change involves a substitute teacher. Even the preschool
favorite, Bob the Builder, teaches young children lessons
about their country, particularly in the episode Built
to Be Wild, which teaches children about the wild west.
And social awareness?
That, too, has a place in the classroom. I asked my six-year-old
son what he thought about the KIDS FIRST!® Festival title, Angelina
Ballerina: All Dancers on Deck. He said, "It teaches
you that you should stay in your boundaries and not go where you
aren't supposed to." Understanding rules is an important part
of the school experience, and so is understanding other people who
might be different from ourselves. Maya
& Miguel, the award-winning children's bi-lingual
(Spanish-English) animated series, addresses one of these differences
with a special episode that presents insights and understanding
about the challenges of learning another language - sign language.
Deborah Forte, former KIDS FIRST!® board member and creator of Maya
& Miguel, took the time to give me details on the story
behind this episode.
Forte and Lupe
Ontiveros, the woman who brings the voice of Abuela Elena to life,
discussed the challenges of learning English as a second language
(ESL). Ontiveros, a parent of two hearing impaired children, remarked
that the language learning process was very similar for her children
as they learned American Sign Language (ASL). The two began brainstorming,
and work began on the episode, Give
Me a Little Sign, which debuts September 25 on PBS KIDS
GO! during National Deaf Awareness Week (September 24-30) and will
be broadcast in open caption.
(who contributed the image below) collaborated with the National
Association of the Deaf and consultant, Jackie Ross, to ensure ASL
authenticity. Animators watched slow motion videos of Ross forming
signs in order to make the animations accurate.
As Forte states, "It was a labor of love from our amazingly
talented staff." Creating this particular episode took three
times longer than normal. It is their hope that when teachers use
this episode in the classroom, viewers will be open to those who
speak and act differently. Through this episode, children can learn
that life is trial and error. Those who are different should not
feel self-conscious and a classroom should be a comfortable environment.
From what I
can tell, the producers achieve that goal. I viewed the promotional
copy with four boys, ages six through twelve, and everyone was captivated.
The storyline was interesting, and we learned numerous signs through
fabulous, detailed animation. After the title finished, the boys
discussed their friends with hearing impairments and how they should
act around them. As a parent and educator, my appreciation goes
out to all producers who dedicate their lives to make learning through
media entertaining and educational for our children.
Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy
www.drtoy.com Smart Play /Smart
Learning - Stimulation helps learning, especially when it reinforces
the curriculum in the form of a historical video or story that brings
the characters to life and helps the child remember the story. The
use of videos has always been valuable for classroom use and they
the same valued contribution at home. A fun title to supplement
science lessons at home is the KIDS FIRST!® selection Astronomy
- Sun Paper Plate Craft
plates, yellow construction paper, scissors, pencil, glue, crayons,
googly eyes (optional)
go to craft
FIRST!® Film and Video Festival Schedule
Join us as we travel around the country with film festivals. Find
out when we will be in a town near you. For details read
& 12, 2006. Orlando, FL. Gina D's Reading Across America Program.
Four Special School Performances at the Bob Carr Performing Arts
Center. Reserve Your Seats Now! $5 per child/person. Call Diana
at 407-260-2773 for more information.
1, 2006 The Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton, Tucson, AZ. The
28th National Media Market. The National Media Market presents
an exceptional opportunity for media professionals who purchase
for public libraries, universities, media/technology centers and
educational broadcasting to screen the newest and best quality motion
media from 55 prominent producers and distributors. Professional
Development sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions further
enhance the Market experience.
Boston, MA. 5th Annual Summit of the Coalition
for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Consuming Kids: Marketing
in Schools and Beyond. The summit will "bring together
distinguished scholars, activists, parents, and educators to discuss
how marketing undermines childrens health and well-being and
what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus
on marketing in schools. "
2006. Lake Lily Park, 701 Lake Lily Drive Maitland, FL.. Take a
Day to Play and enjoy carnival rides and games, Nickelodeon
character visits, and live childrens music. Hot Peas n
Butter and Justin Roberts, both of whom are featured on the NOGGINs
Jacks Big Music Show, will join local favorites on stage for
a six-hour concert. Admission to the concert is FREE, and tickets
for the carnival can be purchased at the event. For more information,
call the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando at 407-645-0923
or visit www.orlandofamilyfestival.org
Canada's National Media Education Week. The first of its kind in
Canada, this week will highlight the importance of media literacy
and Web literacy as key learning areas in the information age. Read
Through the combined efforts of Corporations for Character, KIDS FIRST!® , and your generous donation, we can fulfill our mission
to provide positive, encouraging movies into each of more than one
million children's hospital beds. This effort will provide entertainment
for children while they are confined in a hospital. To support KIDS FIRST!® Cares, click
here. All credit card transactions are secure.
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. The Coalition for Quality
Children's Media 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 is $200. To join, go to: http://www.kidsfirst.org
or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!®.
OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members
by clicking here: http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/whomem.htm.
IF YOU FIND THIS NEWSLETTER USEFUL . . . FORWARD IT TO FRIENDS AND
newsletter may be reprinted with permission.
Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media, http://www.kidsfirst.org
CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!®
KIDS FIRST!® is the not-for-profit Coalition for Quality Children's
Media's initiative that evaluates and rates children's media - videotapes,
CD-ROMs and television - using a highly acclaimed method that has
been praised by parents and educators alike. It utilizes professionally
designed criteria and evaluation tools and engages a volunteer jury
comprising child development professionals, teachers and parents
nationwide and children of diverse geographic, socioeconomic and
ethnic backgrounds. KIDS FIRST!® endorsed titles appeal to people
around the world and include many programs on topics important to
children's development. KIDS FIRST!® -endorsed titles are available
on CQCM's award-winning Internet site, in the KIDS FIRST!® Film
and Video Festival and in reviews we provide to more than 75 publications.
evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs
and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines,
visit our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org,
call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.