Ranny Levy

The invasive impact of violent and biased media on children became the impetus, in 1991, for Levy to create KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children's Media, dedicated to promoting and nurturing quality children's media as a vehicle for social change. A former educator, Levy created an award-winning PBS, produced an ACE-nominated television show and managed an independent film production and distribution company in the mid 80s. In 1991, Levy co-founded the Coalition for Quality Children's Media and its popular KIDS FIRST! program. Levy developed the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics initiative, a program that engages young people (ages 9 to 22) as entertainment reporters. These kids attend press screenings, red carpets, press junkets, site visits and similar. They review all the latest films rated PG-13 younger and interview talent on and off the red carpet. Their reviews are both on camera and written. KIDS FIRST! has a robust YouTube Channel with more than 4000 video-taped film reviews and talent interviews and more than 100,000 visitors weekly. KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reviews reach more than 7 million people each month through the KIDS FIRST! website, social media, YouTube Channel and radio show as well as in blogs on Huffington Post, GRAND Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Kidzworld.com, Kidsville News and 50 additional online and print publications. KIDS FIRST! also produces a weekly radio show and a traveling children’s film festival.

Levy has written three books, "The New York Times / KIDS FIRST Guide to The Best Children's Videos," "A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs" and "The Field Guide for Young Women: Finding Your Life Partner." She is a frequent speaker at conferences, including:

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

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

Ms. Levy is mother of grown children, has two wonderful grandchildren, one surrogate son and one lovely daughter-in-law. She loves watching and reviewing films, writing screenplays, keeping fit, organic gardening, traveling, the opera, lots of other music, attending the theater and entertaining friends and family.

10 Crazy things you probably never knew about me.

  1. My Dad was an engineer and I went to college intending to be an engineer which I found way too boring so I switched majors to dance and theater. My Dad was most unhappy but settled by saying, "Well then, I'll insure your legs." Which he did.
  2. I studied dance from the time I was 4 - ballet, jazz and modern dance. I twirled the baton from the age of 8 through high school, competed in baton twirling competitions all over the mid-west and was head majorette for my high school marching band. Then, I joined a community synchronized swimming team and performed with them throughout my junior and high school years.
  3. I had my first job at age 14 teaching dance to Head Start students at my junior high school.
  4. I studied dance with famous dancers such as Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey, various teachers from the Martha Graham and Alvin Nicolai Companyies, Twila Tharp, Yvonne Rainer, Merce Cunningham and Nancy Stark Smith. It was a blast.
  5. I started a dance company in Fort Wayne, Indiana called the Fort Wayne Dance Collective with some of my best friends and brought in guest teachers, like Diane Elliot and John LeFan, to teach summer intensive workshops and to choreograph for the company. I also introduced contact improvisation to the dancers and non-dancers of Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne Dance Collection is still in business today!
  6. I taught dance at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, New Mexico University, Indiana University-Purdue in Fort Wayne and the fabulous charter school, Whitney Young Magnet School. In the late 70s. I started a dance touring company with 3, 4 and 5th graders who were some of the best students I've ever worked with. Years later, I ran into one of them, Rodrick, who told me I saved his life. "Without you, I would be in jail today."
  7. I've been married and divorced three times, but haven't given up on love! I am happily surround by a loving community of family and friends and am still looking for that special person to share my love with.
  8. I was a vegetarian for 20 years, from the time I was 17 until I was 37 and raised my kids as vegetarians until they started school and wanted to eat lunch at the school cafeteria.
  9. My first child was born when I was 20 and my husband and I owned a wholesale importing business and traveled all over Mexico with my 3-month-old son, buying silver jewelry, pottery and rugs.
  10. I produced a magazine format television show for Citizens Cable of Fort Wayne, won an Ace Award and was invited to work for CNN in the early 80s. Instead, I moved to New Mexico, aptly named the Land of Enchantment. I've been enchanted ever since.

My daughter, Alanna and me in Tahiti, 2016

My grandson, Aden, 2016


My son, Samsunshine, 2022

My grandson, Sadel, 2016


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