Jury Coordination and Notes

Archive for April, 2009

Start Your Film Club This Summer!

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Wondering what to do with all that extra time with the kids this summer? Some days just too hot or rainy to play outside? Why not start your own Junior Film Critics Club?

Our next 2-part class is scheduled for May 12 and May 19. There will be day sessions at 1pm Eastern Time and evening sessions at 8:30pm Eastern Time. The course fee of $30, with discounts available for educators, is fully refundable once you’ve completed your training and reviewed your first six films with your jury. The training takes place in the comfort of your own home, using only a telephone or headset and a computer (internet access is required, though hi-speed is not necessary.)

In this class, you will learn how to evaluate children’s media based on our standardized criteria and to work with a group of kids to help them become critical media viewers. Kid’s juries are made up of at least five kids in a particular age group. All approved DVDs, CDs and video games are yours to keep, so it’s also a great way to build up your media library, or help out your local school, church, library or other youth organization. And KIDS FIRST! reviews appear on our website and in parenting magazines.
To sign up for the class, fill out our juror application form, or email the Jury Manager for more information.

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Getting Kids to Talk – Ages 12-18

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

A key piece of our media literacy program is getting kids to think and talk about what they watch, play or listen to. But sometimes this is tricky. Our trained jurors watch a lot of DVDs throughout the course of the year and find our training and their experience helpful in getting kids to talk about their feelings.

Kids, ages 12-18, often considers themselves adults, even though they may vacillate between juvenile and mature behavior. They are critical thinkers and, when directed, can be incredibly insightful. Provocative, open forum discussions can be held over issues such as loyalty, honesty and friendship.

They also will succumb to peer pressure, particularly if there are strong personalities in the group. If you think this is a problem, ask them to write their thoughts on paper. You can then share this information with the group anonymously. Girls and boys may have quite different interests at this age too. You might consider single-sex groupings occasionally for more in-depth responses. Try it both ways, to see if the responses vary. You will find this to be an excellent opportunity for introducing new concepts and vocabulary.

You can even set up a TV show and let your kids pretend they are professional reviewers. Let them interview each other for more fun and interactivity.
KIDS FIRST! jurors have some of the best ideas. If you’d like to share an idea or a project that works well for you, please email it to the Jury Manager and we can include it in future blogs. In subsequent blogs I will include tips for other age groups as well.
For more great ideas, or to become more involved with KIDS FIRST!, sign up for our next Jury Training Course or contact the Jury Manager.

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