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Campfire Stories for an Evolving World * Inspirational Stories To Address The Ever-Changing World We Live In

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

The child in us yearns for simple answers to complex questions. How do we open to new ways of thinking? How can we live in community and still respect the individual? Who are we, and do we have the ability to transform ourselves and, perhaps, each other? This book starts with a set of values that can be true for anyone and a reminder that our hearts hold goodness waiting to be revealed. These stories and drawings are for our children, our future, and they are for you, too. Let the magic transform you and inspire a world filled with unity, compassion and love.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ashleigh C. comments, “Author Genie Valen writes camp stories in a very unconventional way. This book sets itself apart from other popular stories such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Ms. Valen tells important and modern life lessons for an evolving world where future generations are facing different issues that call for a different type of campfire stories.” Dominic D. adds, “Exciting, educational, powerful, delightful, and so many other adjectives can be used to describe Genie Valen’s new book, Campfire Stories for an Evolving World.  This collection of inspirational short stories not only serves to provide readers with ways to critically think about the ever-changing world we live in, but also gives us strategies to help us face the unknown challenges of an evolving society.” See their full reviews below.

Campfire Stories for an Evolving World

By Ashleigh C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 17

Author Genie Valen writes camp stories in a very unconventional way. This book sets itself apart from other popular stories such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Ms. Valen tells important and modern life lessons for an evolving world where future generations are facing different issues that call for a different type of campfire stories.

Campfire Stories for an Evolving World uses bookending where two stories are happening simultaneously. The story starts off with a family traveling to go camping. As issues arise a prayer from the father of the family creates the start of a mystical storytelling. This then ignites into the telling of different stories with different lesson. Will the family be able to learn from this lesson and navigate this evolving world?

This book is such an interesting approach to telling a camp story. It really challenges the idea that the real monsters we should fear are the fear to dream and to not be afraid of change. In the age of social media this is a great guide for younger kids who may need help with self-worth and image. That brings me to my favorite part of this book. I love the story of Lizard Boy best. It really captures the message of being comfortable with your circumstances without letting it define who you are and how you feel. My favorite character, however, is the elder who appears at the campfire to tell the stories. Her character represents any person you may look up to.

There are so many messages in this book. The main message is to be confident in navigating this modern new world. Make sure you take advantage of the people around who can help you on your journey, highlighted in the story entitled Lellie’s Adventure. This book promotes positive social behavior.

I give Campfire Stories for an Evolving Stories World 5 out 5 stories. I recommend for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.

Campfire Stories for an Evolving World (2021)

By Dominic D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Exciting, educational, powerful, delightful, and so many other adjectives can be used to describe Genie Valen’s new book, Campfire Stories for an Evolving World.  This collection of inspirational short stories not only serves to provide readers with ways to critically think about the ever-changing world we live in, but also gives us strategies to help us face the unknown challenges of an evolving society. This is a book that people of all ages should keep within arm’s reach to read when times get tough.

Author Genie Valen has created a small masterpiece of literature built on a foundation of love. Her book starts off with an author’s note that sets the stage with, “if every cloud has its silver lining, then every silver lining is a doorway to transformation.”  Life has its many challenges and these challenges only get more complex in an evolving world. Stories in the book help readers get through difficult times and offer positive strategies to transform us—to help conquer our battles, and to make us better people altogether. Her practical stories of overcoming fear, finding one’s self, embracing friendship, and having a strong connection to nature are all great reminders of how we should live our lives.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that the stories are short yet chock-full of uplifting messages for teachable moments. The stories reflect the reality of what kids and adult face within our society today. With critical thought and strategies built on understanding and love, we should all feel empowered to move beyond those challenges. The stories are engaging and written such that kids of all ages can connect and interact with them. Leslie Cook’s illustrations are a simple yet enjoyable bonus.

Each story in Campfire Stories for an Evolving World carries its own message; however the overall message of the book is that if there is love in our hearts, there is love in this world. Our evolving world can appear “ugly,” hardened, and hopeless at times, yet each of us has the ability to change that.  Love runs deep within us all and softens the heart, which is the most powerful tool for transformation! This book is more than a book to be pulled out and read around a campfire, but rather its powerful messages are a great tool, and can be read and shared on any given day.

I give Campfire Stories for an Evolving World 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for ages 5 to 18. Adults will also love and appreciate this book. The book is available now and you can purchase a copy wherever books are sold.  

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HUMP DAY? NO WAY!

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

The UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, presented by Outreach College, continues with FREE virtual screenings — plus coming up this weekend, live stream interview/Q&A sessions with filmmakers and crew. Programs focus on climate change and the environment, space and technology, social justice and tolerance, arts and culture…and just plain fun.

All films stream free of charge. Click on the “Reserve Tickets” button for an All Access Pass to the festival. To reserve tickets for thematic film blocks/individual films, go directly to the Virtual Festival Catalog. Be sure to check out our live streaming interviews and Q&A’s this weekend.
For free tickets to all live streams and virtual screenings, visit kidsfirsthawaii.eventive.org

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16

Films available for viewing from Feb 16, 12am – Feb 21, 11:45pm

You Do You No Matter Who – Part 1 • 9 films

With artistry and humor, short films about building bridges and finding common ground across differences. Positive messages: never give up, resist giving in to social pressures, celebrate who you are.
https://watch.eventive.org/kidsfirsthawaii/play/61d4efbfc0b34a0095ba95bd

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17

Films available for viewing from Feb 17, 12am – Feb 21, 11:45pm

Music Moves • 2 films

Pops is Tops is a musical journey through the home and life of Louis Armstrong.

Quaranteened: A Virtual Musical, from The Theatre Bug in partnership with MA2LA, was written by teen writers, recorded from home, and produced remotely.
https://watch.eventive.org/kidsfirsthawaii/play/61d4f066f4fee2004b99921f

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18

Films available for viewing from Feb 18, 12am – Feb 21, 11:45pm

All Kine Kids • 9 films

Delightful tales of kids being kids everywhere — from the school room to the stage to the reindeer roundup — from the US, Canada, Belgium, Iran, and Mongolia.
https://watch.eventive.org/kidsfirsthawaii/play/61d4f0b80f5be200304ba0c6

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MORE TO COME! The Festival continues through February 21 with streaming films & live stream events with film creatives.
https://watch.eventive.org/kidsfirsthawaii/live

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For free tickets to all live streams and virtual screenings, visit kidsfirsthawaii.eventive.org

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UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

WATCH THE FREE FILMS – Chat with the Creatives

The UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival, presented by Outreach College, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the national KIDS FIRST! with over 100 free virtual screenings and live stream interviews/Q&A sessions with filmmakers and crew.

Join us online with the filmmaking creatives! Details and free tickets here.

For free tickets to all virtual screenings, visit kidsfirsthawaii.eventive.org.

On-demand viewing: Feb 12, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Follow the adventures of the small but mighty gang. Episode features a “sign over” performance by deaf actress Shaylee Mansfield.

Live stream interview/Q&A: Feb 12, 12:00pm-12:30pm

Johanna Stein, Executive Producer and Showrunner
TJ Sullivan, Supervising Director
Justin Maurer, ASL Consultant
Delbert Whetter, ASL Consultant
Jevon Whetter, ASL Consultant  

On-demand viewing: Feb 12, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Three hand-painted animated shorts: Blue Cooler, Hepa, & Rolling Down Like Pele

Live stream conversation with Laura Margulies: Feb 12, 1:00pm-1:30pm HST

Laura Margulies combines motion, color, texture, live action, rhythm and sound to create award-winning, expressive films. She often animates with paint in a stop motion style. Her films have screened worldwide; her commissioned work has aired on CBS, MTV, VH1, and the Sundance Channel. She is an Assistant Professor of animation at the Academy of Creative Media at UH Mānoa.

On-demand viewing: Feb 19, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Four animated shorts: Lilly Goes to the Dogs, Lilly Goes Fishing,  Lilly and the Baby, & Pollution Solution

Live stream chat with members of the Bum Family: Feb 19, 11:30am-12:00pm HST

The Bum Family are a group of Calgarian cousins – Maezy, Medina, and Zaiyah Dennie and Berlin, Ocean, and Sol Demuth – who create anarchy, hilarity and art. They write the concepts, create the artwork, direct, animate. and edit their award-winning films together, and recently made a short film for preschoolers for Sesame Street. Representing will be Maezy Dennie (age 19), Medina Dennie (age 17), and Zaiyah Dennie (age 15).

On-demand viewing: Feb 20, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Eleven-year-old Bobo Gallagher is the youngest person to cross the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel via wing foil. His sister Deveraux directed and edited the documentary of his journey.

Live stream interview/Q&A with Bobo Gallagher and Deveraux Gallagher: Feb 20, 11:30am-12:00pm HST

Get the back-story on the Channel crossing, and whatʻs next for water athlete Bobo and his sister Devereaux.

On-demand viewing: Feb 20, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Two episodes: The Adventure Begins is the origin story of the series. In Noise Pollution, the MeteoHeroes rescue a pod of dolphins in the Pacific Ocean who are disoriented by a shipʻs powerful sonar.

On-demand viewing: Feb 20, 12:00am – Feb 21, 11:45pm HST

Pre-recorded: Interview with Luigi Latini, Creator/Executive Producer of MeteoHeroes, which airs in over 140 countries and is dubbed in 20 languages. He is CEO and Partner of the famous private Weather Center in Italy, MOPI (Meteo Operations Italia). Latini stated, “MeteoHeroes was born precisely from our need to put kids first in education towards the need to recycle, consume better, fight pollution and tackle climate change….”

Live stream Q&A with Kenn Viselman, Showrunner/Executive Producer: Feb 20, 1:00pm-1:30pm

Kenn Viselman has created, produced, marketed and consulted on dozens of family entertainment projects and is the producing partner behind the Teletubbies in the Western Hemisphere. He is currently the showrunner for Moonzy, which has garnered over 10 billion views on YouTube, as well as MeteoHeroes, the definitive family series about climate change.­­

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Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the University of Hawaii / KIDS FIRST! Film Festival

Monday, February 7th, 2022

The 2022 virtual UH KIDS FIRST! Film Festival – now in its 14th year in Hawaiʻi – presents creative and insightful animated and live-action shorts, features, and documentaries by student, indie, and seasoned filmmakers worldwide. Films focus on climate change and the environment, space and technology, social justice and tolerance, arts and culture…and just plain silliness and fun!Reserve your free virtual tickets and save the dates!
You’ll be asked to set up an account with Eventive (Eventive does not share information with third parties without your explicit consent). Click on the films you wish to view in the Film Guide or Virtual Catalog. A convenient All Access Pass is available. For additional help, check out “Virtual Audience FAQs” in the Menu.

For tickets and the complete Virtual Festival Catalog of films, log ontokidsfirsthawaii.eventive.org

Mahalo to our sponsors & supporters: UH Mānoa Outreach College,Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, DreamWorks, Hopster and Sandbox Kids.

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Kids Helping Kids – One Film At A Time

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

Celebrate Giving Week with KIDS FIRST! November 29 – December 3

I’m a big believer in the importance of taking time to be grateful. It’s not surprising that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all – just ask my children about that. As KIDS FIRST! celebrates its 30th anniversary, I want to express my gratitude to all our wonderful donors and supporters that helps get our KIDS FIRST! Film Critic’s reviews out to kids and families everywhere, guiding them to make better media choices.

https://gofund.me/d26e072d

As we approach Giving Tuesday, I want to remind you that contributions from individual donors like you assist us in meeting our annual fundraising goals which provides critical funding that supports all the backend work at our office – coaching our young reporters, editing their written and videotaped reviews, promoting them on our website, social media pages, YouTube channel, weekly podcast and weekly e-zine.

On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, you have the opportunity to join millions around the world in supporting the causes they care about on #GivingTuesday. I realize that there are many causes that tug at your heartstrings. I am simply asking you to take a moment to do something that benefits youth and families everywhere. A donation to KIDS FIRST! helps kids make thoughtful media choices and sometimes that can be life changing. Support Kids Helping Kids Make Positive Life Choices One Film At A Time: https://gofund.me/d26e072d

I remember the first time I met Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) and he told me, “Keep doing what you are doing Ranny because it truly does make a difference. I know it’s hard sometimes, but you need to stick with it.”

If you are a regular follower of our lively group of youth reporters, you know that KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are a team of 65 youth, ages 9 to 21, who review the latest films, TV shows, Digital Media designed for a youth and family Audience. Our youth reporters come from all across the USA, plus from other countries.

These young people attend press screenings, press junkets, red carpet events and stand side by side with seasoned entertainment reporters. They hold their own and are well respected in the entertainment industry. Their reviews and talent interviews are published on the KIDS FIRST! website, social media, YouTube Channel, weekly podcast and weekly newsletter. Plus, it is shared with a group of 40+ publications – print and online that reach a total of over 7 million subscribers/viewers/readers with every post.

Our youth reporters are real kids giving real opinions about entertainment geared for youth and families.

They share with you their genuine opinions and give warning about any unsavory elements such as graphic violence, profanity, sexual content or racism. They want you – parents and children alike – to have enough information to make intelligent choices about the media you choose to consume or allow your children to consume. KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are unique in examining entertainment from a youth point of view. When the kids win, everyone wins! Smarter kids make smarter consumers.

KIDS FIRST! has been a trusted source for parents and families for 30 years! In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we ask for your support so we can reach more people nation- and world-wide. Your support provides coaches, editors, technical personnel and equipment to assist our youth reporters, provide ongoing training, and help us reach an ever increasing audience of youth and families.

KIDS FIRST! is a project of the national 501(c)(3) Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

More about KIDS FIRST! and parent testimonials.

What do Media Professionals have to say about KIDS FIRST!?

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