boot camp


Do you see yourself as an Entertainment Reporter?

Join us for Summer Camp

Please note: This Camp is on hold til further notice due to the COVID19 Pandemic

Our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp Takes Place
at Temple University June 22 to 27, 2020
Open to Youth Ages 9 to 16

register here

Beginning Film Critics Camp


  • Develop vocabulary and criteria necessary to understand, use and enjoy films and become critical media consumers..
  • Watch, analyze and discuss films.
  • Examine behind-the-scenes contributors (directors to editors).
  • Review film in written and video format daily.
  • Learn the process of creating videotaped film reviews and learn skills needed to be both on-camera and a camera person..
  • Learn and practice interviewing techniques for conducting both in-person and recorded interviews. .
  • Meet working actors, writers, producers, film critics, etc.
  • Work collaboratively in small teams or as a large group to fulfill breakout exercises.
  • Tour Temple University and learn more about the film program there.
  • Share knowledge learned with parents and guardians.

Sandy Kenyon, Na'im Smith
Na'im S. with Sandy Kenyon, WABC Entertainment reporter


My eldest son, Rohan participated in the Boot Camp in 2016 and has been a part of the KIDS FIRST! team since. It has been amazing watching his confidence in front of the camera grow over the last two years. His teachers have also noticed a huge improvement in his writing ability. He went back to the advanced camp in 2017 and learned a lot about video editing and improved his interviewing skills. My younger son, Damon, was very eager to join the team and had a fantastic time at 2017 NYC camp. I can see him learning and growing more and more self-confident with every review too. I am very grateful that my children have had the opportunity to be part of this wonderful team. Jennifer Foxe, New York City

My son Rami absolutely loved the Brooklyn Boot Camp. He says "it was challenging, but exciting. We got to watch movies and review them in both written and video format. It taught me a lot about the film industry. I would rate it 5 out of 5."

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics On Location


Nathalia J. Interviewing Kaj Vander Voort at Kids Choice Awards

Zoe Cannella Lin Manuel Miranda

Zoe C. Interviewing Lin-Manuel Miranda
at Mary Poppins Returns Press Event

Advanced Film Critic Camp

(Pre-requisite: Basic Film Critic Camp or Enrollment in Media or Performing Arts Program)

  • Develop in-depth analyzing skills.
  • Learn how to improve written presentations.
  • Receive one on one coaching to refine individual on-camera performance.
  • Work collaboratively with other KIDS FIRST! Film Critics.
  • Improve interviewing skills and refine camera skills.
  • Meet and receive feedback from working professionals.
  • Explore the field of digital media, career options and industry trends.
  • Implement modes for social networks and streaming technology.
  • Learn how to shoot on green screen and create video effects in your home studio.
  • Learn how to create professional lighting in your home studio on a budget.
  • Learn how to record and edit your own radio show segment.
  • Visit and tour state of the art post production facility and meet with working professionals.
Digital Media Literacy Day

For Film Critic Campers and Parent or Guardian

  • Bring your own device and learn how to use it appropriately, from focusing, setting it on high resolution, uploading and sample in camera editing, to exporting media.
  • Learn strategies to encourage and support your child as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Team Member.
  • Explore various devices, (e.g. camera, hand held microphone, tripod / monopod, etc.) needed to record, edit and upload reviews and interviews.


If you have any questions, please contact our office at 505-989-8076 or email us here.


This workshop does not in any way guarantee the participant employment in the entertainment industry.


Do You ...

  • Love, really love films?
  • Love talking about the latest films?
  • Envision yourself talking on the Red Carpet?

Spend a Week with KIDS FIRST!

  • Watch the latest films.
  • Learn to critique and write film reviews.
  • Learn to present yourself on camera.
  • Meet guest film critics, producers and actors.
  • Learn interview techniques.
  • Improve your camera shooting and editing skills.
  • Benefit from coaching by seasoned professionals.
Afterwards, campers have the opportunity to join the national KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team!

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics attend press screening, press junkets, red carpets and similar events. Their reviews and celebrity interviews reach more than 7 million people per event. If you love film, this is your goal! To join our film critics team!

2020 Boot Camp Dates & Locations

Temple UniversityThe camp will meet at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. To register, click on the register button at top right. The camp fee is $399 per person. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. See smiley face icon below to apply.

All camps have a limited enrollment and will be filled on a first come/first served basis.

moneySCHOLARSHIPS: There are partial scholarships available in select cities. Please note application deadlines. Apply here:


TIME: Camp hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers must arrive between 8:45 and 9 a.m. and be picked up between 4 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday class is for those wanting to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Housing will be available at the 1940 Residence Hall. There are two options. 1. Double occupancy housing accommodates two guests in each bedroom, with two bedrooms per suite. 2. Single occupancy is also available with one guest per bedroom in a two bedroom suite.  At least one parent must accompany the camper as we do not have counselors available.

Double occupancy: $58.00 per night per guest
Single occupancy: $71.00 per night per guest. 

Linens are additional and must be rented through a third party. Weekly rental is $30 per person.

Meal plans can be also be purchased for each guest.

Full meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner (M-F) at  $35.55 per person for the week. The dining hall is an all you can manage buffet.  Partial meal plans are also available upon request.

Take a Virtual Tour!

Scenes from our advanced camp.


Ranny.Gerry.KeeferRANNY LEVY
The invasive impact of 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 designed an award-winning television series, Kidnetics, for PBS Affiliate, WNIT-TV, produced an ACE-nominated television show (Cable Magazine), and managed an independent film production and distribution company, OneWest Media, selling to national and international markets including PBS, the Discovery Channel and Showtime. Ranny has written two books, "The New York Times / KIDS FIRST Guide to The Best Children's Videos" and "A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs" and is a frequent speaker at conferences about children's media.

Terry Solowey has a wide range of expertise in early childhood / elementary education and children’s media. She is a writer and developer of print and multimedia programs with a focus on outreach, curriculum and content development. Ms. Solowey served as Assistant Director of the Sesame Street Preschool Educational Program, as Manager of Outreach for Thirteen/WNET and Program Director for KIDS FIRST! where she continues to serve on the Advisory Board and works with the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Program. Terry is a certified instructor for the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camp and a member of the KIDS FIRST! National Advisory Board.

Dr. Ed Greene serves as VP for Partnerships and Community Development at the Hispanic Information Television Network (HITN), Brooklyn, NY. Prior to his work at HITN, Ed worked as director of educational outreach for a U.S. Department of Education Ready to Learn Transmedia project.  He has been an instructional leadership coach for principals and  PreK-2 teachers in Detroit Public Schools for Teachscape. Ed was a senior adviser and consultant to Cito USA and its Piramide Approach to Early Learning and director of global outreach for Sesame Workshop. Over his forty-year career, Ed has worked directly with infants, toddlers, preschool children, adolescents and families, as well as in a variety of roles and capacities in the philanthropic, private, public sectors and higher education.  He is a former board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation and currently serves on the Boards of the Council for Professional Recognition and KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.

Angel has worked at KIDS FIRST! for two years and is the Managing Video Editor for KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. He is a graduate of Santa Fe University of Art and Design with a B.A. in Fine Arts, majoring in Film Production. He also has an Associates Degree in Radio, Television and Media Broadcasting from El Paso Community College. Angel has many years of experience working in film, television and  radio. He originally developed an interest in film and TV when he was in high school where he was enrolled in his school’s weekly news show. After high school he enrolled in a community college and gained skills in lighting, writing and editing. He graduated from Community College in 2013 and, after taking a year off, enrolled in Santa Fe University of Art and Design where he strengthened his skills in lighting, editing, filming and other production areas.  He graduated with honors in 2017. Angel has directed some short films and helped produce others. He wrote and produced a PSA called No Child Hungry, which won an award for best PSA at The Chocolate City Short Film Festival.

Philomena is an artist, educator and advocate of child well-being. Philomena studied Media Technology at Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas and earned a BA in Moving Image Arts from the Santa Fe University of Art & Design. Philomena has worked directly for the betterment of children since 2007 when she worked as a production assistant and juror for KIDS FIRST! She has worked with children of all ages in preschools, summer camps, museums and juvenile correctional facilities where she teaches video production, photography, theatre, painting and graffiti art, poetry and graphic novels. Philomena is the founder of the non-profit organization, Unlocked Minds, Inc., a programming resource that provides creative outlets, goal-oriented mentorship and professional networks to incarcerated and at-risk youth. Currently, Ms. Salem teaches at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Golden Acorns Camp of Living Arts & Culture, the Garcia Street Club Preschool and a certified instructor for the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp.

** This event is subject to cancellation if adequate registration is not received or other unexpected circumstances make it impossible to take place.

All camps have limited enrollment and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national, 29-year-old, nonprofit (501-c-3) organization whose mission is to teach children to become critical media users.


Entertainment News for Kids:
Join KIDS FIRST! on Twitter Join KIDS FIRST! on YouTube Join KIDS FIRST! on Instagram Join KIDS FIRST! on Tik Tok Join KIDS FIRST! on Facebook