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Wishing you the best for 2020!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

As the final hours of this year wind down and I reflect on the experiences of the year, gratitude fills my heart and soul. Remembering the precious time spent with family and friends, feeling the loss of precious ones who slipped into the beyond, thankful for the successes of KIDS FIRST! and for good health. This year started with a remarkable retreat in Charleston and ended with a holiday retreat on Florida’s gulf coast with friends and family.

So many wonderful experiences flood my memory as I sit in quiet meditation this morning, from visiting friends and family in Budapest, spending time with friends and neighbors around the pool, at the beach and around the dining table in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. One of our big deals for KIDS FIRST! this year was finding a producer for our KIDS FIRST! TV show, which we hope to be sharing with you soon, and coaching our beautiful team of KIDS FIRST! reporters and helping them reach their own personal goals. We have several reporters graduating in the spring and have been busy writing letters of support for their college applications. Oh my, I remember them as mere pipsqueaks when they first started with us. How time flies and how beautifully they have matured.

I feel renewed and excited about jumping into 2020, filled with anticipation for a remarkable year. To all our followers, I send you wishes for a new year filled with love and peace and joy. Know that we always appreciate your love and support. We love to hear from you so, keep that up. Don’t be shy.

Hugs and love.
See you at the movies!
Ranny and Everyone at KIDS FIRST!

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp Miami – June 18 through 22

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Coming soon! The One and Only KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp June, July and August in 8 Cities Nationwide! Coming to Miami June 18-22!

Tweens and teens watch and critique films, interview celebrities as entertainment reporters at KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camps where learning and fun are one!

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is coming to eight cities this summer, enabling kids to learn how to become entertainment reporters after spending a week practicing their on- and off-camera skills. Taught by leading producers, directors and filmmakers, children ages 11 to 17 truly have the opportunity of a lifetime in this unique star-making program. The camp comes to Miami June 18-22 at the Doral Academy, then travels to Philadelphia, Old Bridge (NJ), Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington DC.

My eldest son, Rohan participated in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp in 2016 and has been a part of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics national  team since. It has been amazing watching his confidence grow over the last two years. His teachers have also noticed a huge improvement in his writing ability. He attended the advanced camp in 2017 and learned a lot about video editing and improved his interviewing skills. Jennifer Foxe, New York City

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn the skills they need to critique and review films, present their reviews on-camera and interview celebrities. “Children will learn a variety of behind-the-scenes film industry skills as they watch and critique the latest films, write reviews, develop on-camera reporting and interviewing techniques and meet working film critics, celebrities, directors and producers of some of their favorite films,” said Ranny Levy, KIDS FIRST! Founder and President.

“It made me improve my vocabulary and write even more because I didn’t use to like writing,” said Angel David Gonzales who participated in the 2017 camp in Brooklyn, NY last summer. The normally shy Gonzalez’s teacher, Madeline Rodriguez commented that participating in the camp boosted his confidence as well.  “It’s really nice to see him open up from his shell, to really embrace this experience and opportunity,” she said.

Following the camp, campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team of reporters.

Reviews by KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reach more than seven million viewers every month through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publications including Huffington Post, Kidzworld.com, GRAND Magazine, Kidsville News, Working Woman and many more. Take a look at  ABC News Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon’s story on one of our previous camps:  https://7ny.tv/2KvqYMt

 KIDS FIRST! FIRM CRITICS BOOT CAMP DETAILS:

June 18 – 22: Miami, FL ImaginaUS, 7291 NW 74th St., Miami, FL 33166

July 9 – 14: KiDz HuB National Headquarters, 2685 County Rd 516, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

July 13 – 15: Young Media Critics, 225 E. City Line Ave, Suite 16, Bala Cynwyd, PA 

July 23 – 27: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

July 30 – Aug. 3: Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., Seattle, WA 98118

Aug. 6 – 10: Breather Space, 36 E. 23rd, New York, NY 10013

Aug. 10 – 12: IN3, 2301 D Georgia Ave., NW, Washington DC 20011

Learn more and register at:  http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2018.BootCamp.html

Check out our coverage by Sandy Kenyon, Entertainment Reporter for ABC Eyewitness News of 2017 New York City camp.

Coming soon! The One and Only KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp: June, July, August – 8 Cities Nationwide

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is coming to eight cities this summer, enabling kids to learn how to become entertainment reporters after spending a week practicing their on- and off-camera skills. Taught by leading producers, directors and filmmakers, children ages 11 to 17 truly have the opportunity of a lifetime in this unique star-making program. Beginning in Denver June 4-8, the camp then travels to Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Old Bridge (NJ), Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City.

My eldest son, Rohan participated in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp in 2016 and has been a part of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics national  team since. It has been amazing watching his confidence grow over the last two years. His teachers have also noticed a huge improvement in his writing ability. He attended the advanced camp in 2017 and learned a lot about video editing and improved his interviewing skills. Jennifer F., New York City

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn the skills they need to critique and review films, present their reviews on-camera and interview celebrities. “Children will learn a variety of behind-the-scenes film industry skills as they watch and critique the latest films, write reviews, develop on-camera reporting and interviewing techniques and meet working film critics, celebrities, directors and producers of some of their favorite films,” said Ranny Levy, KIDS FIRST! Founder and President.

“It made me improve my vocabulary and write even more because I didn’t use to like writing,” said Angel David Gonzales who participated in the 2017 camp in Brooklyn, NY last summer. The normally shy Gonzalez’s teacher, Madeline Rodriguez commented that participating in the camp boosted his confidence as well.  “It’s really nice to see him open up from his shell, to really embrace this experience and opportunity,” she said.

Following the camp, campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics team of reporters. Reviews by KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reach more than seven million viewers every month through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publications including Huffington Post, Kidzworld.com, GRAND Magazine, Kidsville News, Working Woman and many more. Take a look at ABC News Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon’s story on one of our previous camps:  https://7ny.tv/2KvqYMt

KIDS FIRST! FIRM CRITICS BOOT CAMP DETAILS:

Learn more and register at:  http://www.kidsfirst.org/become-a-juror/2018.BootCamp.html

ABC Eyewitness News coverage by Sandy Kenyon of 2017 New York City camp.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp takes media literacy to a new level and engages kids actively doing something they enjoy, acting as accountable youth reporters. Kids love it! Parents love it! Teachers love it! Take a look at this clip from News12 showing how Bronx students have incorporated what they learned at boot camp into their every day lives. http://Bronx.news12.com/story/36688518/students-use-summer-camp-film-lessons-in-everyday-life

KIDS FIRST! is a project of the 26-year-old national nonprofit (501-c-3) Coalition for Quality Children’s Media whose mission is to  teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp has taken place on the lot at Walt Disney Studios, the Paramount Pictures lot, Discovery Communications Headquarters and Hispanic Information and Technology Network in New York City. KIDS FIRST! is supported by major entertainment industry leaders, teachers, librarians, media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide with a cumulative membership of over 17 million.

 

KIDS FIRST! 2016 Holiday Gift Guide – DVDs

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

holiday_gift_guide_top_of_post_2.jpg Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. That’s why, KIDS FIRST! has created our annual Holiday Gift Guide featuring DVDs, games and music for your loved ones. We know you look for that perfect gift for your niece, nephew, sister-in-law and of course, your own kids and family members and, we’ve got your back! You most likely know what those closest to you want and need, but for those who you don’t see as often it’s more of a challenge. Check out our recommendations of DVDs, music and games to help you find the perfect Holiday gift. Many of these have been reviewed by our in-house team of youth KIDS FIRST! Film Critics and, if so, you will find their video review right next to the item. Of course, you can find many more reviews at www.kidsfirst.org and, if you order anything from Amazon, please use our Amazon Smile account so a part of your purchase helps to support the ongoing work of KIDS FIRST. Happy Holidays from all of us at KIDS FIRST! to all of you. Please feel free to share this with your peeps.

Click here for our 2016 KIDS FIRST! Holiday Gift Guide: http://slides.com/rannynm/deck-31

Mech X4: Fun-filled adventure show with an amazing cast, great graphics and a fascinating storyline

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

mechX4.jpgMech-X4 is an American comedy television series created by Steve Marmel. The series stars Nathaniel James Potvin, Kamran Lucas, Pearce Joza and Raymond Cham. The series is scheduled to premiere on November 12, 2016, on Disney XD. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I … was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome story line – all of which are quite believable.” See her full review below.

Mech-X4
By Morgan Bertsch, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Amazing! I got a sneak peek of the first episode of Mech-X4 and was pleasantly surprised because this is not your typical Disney TV show. It made me feel like I was watching a movie with its wonderful storyline, graphics and acting. In this incredible show, there is an amazing cast, graphics and an awesome storyline – all of which are quite believable. This fun-filled adventure show airs on Disney and Disney XD Saturday, November 12 so be sure to check it out.

This show stars Ryan Walker (Nathaniel James Potvin). With his dreamy eyes, he is a typical teenage boy who finds outmechx4.a.jpg that he is a technopath.  While chit chatting with Nathaniel, I discovered that he loves his super power which is being the master of all technology.  His personality matches his character perfectly as he is fun and easy to talk to. His new-found superpower awakens a 150 foot robot called Mech-X4 and its job is to protect the city from crazy monsters.

Ryan Walker then recruits his friends to help. Harris (Kamran Lucas) is the brains of the group. In real life, he has been doing Martial arts since he was 5 years old and he does most of his own stunts. Harris is cautious and protective of his friends and the new-found robot.  Harris is a geek who wants to make sure that everyone has their facts straight before they jump into things. He is amazing at martial arts and play his character quite believingly.

Spyder (Pearce Joza) is adventurous and ready for anything. I also met him and found his easy going nature quite mechx4.b.jpgenjoyable. In real life, he loves snowboarding. He provides the comedic relief for the group and is extremely funny. He loves all the gadgets for the robot and, since this is all new for them, sometimes things don’t work out as planned.

Ryan also recruits his brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to help. He is not a mechanic in real life, like his character and the two of them are exact opposites. Mark’s main job is to be the mechanic and fix everything. Mark is usually the leader in his family so he has to get used to the fact that he needs to let his brother shine and he has to stand back a bit. Raymond loves the idea of mixing two animals together to get cool and creative monsters for the show. He wishes he had the super power to see free movies at the box office. Skateboarding is his thing.

I was lucky enough to be able to meet all these fantastic actors and visit with them about their roles in this show. They are all so grateful to be a part of this magnificent show. The one thing that is missing is girl power. Disney already gave the green on Season 2 before Season 1 even airs. WOW ! And, the guys told me to keep a look out for girl power coming soon.Morgan.SM.jpg

The graphics of this show are spectacular. I love the way the robot and monsters all seem so realistic. It feels like you really are there and as if you are going on this adventure with Ryan and his friends while protecting the world. I love all the amazing places they shot in Canada, the wonderful acting and the insight into each character.

My favorite scene in this episode is when Ryan, Spyder, Mark and Harris are fighting a gigantic snake/octopus monster with the robot. It is filled with action, adventure and a little comedy. Plus the graphics are incredible and realistic.

I recommend this series for ages 8 to 18 because the action and comedy. I also think adults will enjoy it, especially the story line and the characters. According to Steve Marmel and Anupam Nigam, Executive Producers of the show, their target audience is a wide range. They want parents to enjoy watching this TV show with their kids. Be sure to check out my amazing interviews and learn more about the cast on our YouTube Channel. I give this TV show 5 out of 5 gigantic robot stars.

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