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KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2002
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:
October 2002
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KIDS FIRST! NEWS 2001
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

December 31, 2001

 


QUOTE: "All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost." J. R. R. Tolkien

Dear Friends,

As I send out this final e-zine for the year, I'm reflecting on all I've experienced during the past twelve months. It's been a year filled with extreme highs and lows. From our Second Annual KIDS FIRST! Film Festival in 9 cities this spring, to our Annual Gathering of Members, to the birth of my first grand child, to the crashing horror of September 11, it is a year we will all remember. While visiting with a friend last weekend, I recognized that in some ways it's been the most difficult year of my life. At the same time though, it's been filled with some of the most glorious moments of my life. Who would trade all that?

I still remember that morning in September when our world changed. I was on my way to an 8:00 meeting when I learned about it. Stunned, I stumbled in. We all looked at one another, wept, and had our meeting, breaking periodically to break down or make phone calls to check on more loved ones. I didn't find out my daughter who lives in New York was okay until two hours later. I felt like I was suspended between breaths until I got her phone call.

And then, the change was practically visible.

Phone calls with my colleagues that are usually short, sweet and to the point became something else, something more personal. Cursory greetings of ‘how are you doing?' became real conversation and slowly, we started to develop friendships in a new way. Someone commented on this recently, "Yes, it's made us all soften."

In my future, perfect world, I'd like to see that softening stay with us. Isn't that what makes us truly human?

Be well, enjoy your entre into your New Year and know that we at KIDS FIRST! love you very much. Keep up the good work you are doing.

Ranny

**** Sale on KIDS FIRST! Book ***

To tell you how much we thank you for your support and friendship this year, we're offering a January e-zine subscriber's discount of $15.96 (plus $5 s & h), representing a 20% discount on the $19.95 retail price. To order your book, call our office, 505-989-8076 or send in your request, along with your credit card information (number and expiration date) to [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. This offer is good as long as supplies last. You can view sample pages of our book at http://www.pgpress.com/Book_Excerpts/kidvid/


**** Semi-Finalists for the KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award ******

Congratulations to the Semi-Finalists! Wow, we have a record number of semi-finalists this year and they are really really great. Our Senior Jurors are reviewing them now in order to narrow down the list to the finalists for each age group and they're having a difficult time because every single title is so great.

Please check these out, you'll be glad you did. Below is the list with links to our web site for the full review. Note that some newly endorsed titles do not have complete reviews posted yet. If you check back in a week or so they should be.

For 0 to 2-year-olds

Baby Genius: the Four Seasons
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201074
So Smart! Colors
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201114
Teletubbies: Go! Exercise with the Teletubbies
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200264
Teletubbies: Magic Pumpkin and Other Stories
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200192
Teletubbies: Christmas in the Snow
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200204

For 2 to 5-year-olds

Sesame Street: Kids Favorite Songs 2
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201199
Baby Songs: Silly Songs
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201113
Dragon Tales: Let's Be Friends
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=
201104
Bear in the Big Blue House: Early to Bed
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201119
Dragon Tales: Let's Play Together
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201005
Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford Tries His
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201110
Bear in the Big Bluehouse: Storytelling with
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201118
Oobi
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201115
Dora the Explorer: to the Rescue
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201148
Dora the Explorer: Wish on a Star
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201150
Dora the Explorer: Swing into Action
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201149
Little Bill: What I Did at School
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201152
Little Bill: Me and My Family
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201151
Little Bill: Big Little Bill
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201153

For 6 to 12-year-olds

Scholastic's Magic School Bus Creepy, Crawly Fun!
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201132
Badger's Parting Gifts
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201156
My America: a Poetry Atlas of the United States
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201155
Monet: Shadow & Light
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201158
Goya: Awakened in a Dream
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201159
Barbie in the Nutcracker
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201160
All about Health & Hygiene
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201166
You Are a Masterpiece
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201162
Pisces and Gemini: a Case of Vanishing Stars
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201102
Eclipse: the Day the Sky Went Dark
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201103
Very Hungry Caterpillar
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201143
Ram in the Pepper Patch
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201008
Trouble on Planet Wait Your Turn
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200262
Kirikou
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201096
Can of Worms
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200265
Sword in the Stone
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201035
Horse Sense
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201043
Bear with Me
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201107
Motorcrossed
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201145
Peter Pan (Cathy Rigby)
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200222
Shrek
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201198

For 12 to 18-year-olds

Miracle Worker
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201003
Mvp: Most Valuable Primate
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201013
Princess Diaries
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201147
Color of Friendship
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201089


******** MEMBERS NOTICES *********
*** A NEW BABY GENIUS!!! ***
Congratulations to Larry Balaban of Baby Genius Productions and his wife Sarah whose baby, Francesca arrived in October.

*** Faith Hubley, Oscar-Winning Animator Filmmaker, Dies At 77 ***
Animator Faith Hubley, who with her husband, John, explored the boundaries of film animation, winning and three Academy Awards, died died Friday, December 7 of cancer in New Haven, CT at the age of 77. Hubley most recently taught at Yale and was a senior critic in the school of art.
She made 50 films, the first 21 in partnership with her husband, John Hubley, who passed away in 1977.

Born in New York City, Faith and her husband John formed an independent animation studio in 1955. Their work went far beyond the norm of Saturday morning cartoons. Abandoning the Hollywood animation community for a studio in New York City they developed animation into a fine art, exploring abstract images enhanced by soundtracks from jazz musicians such as Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, and Quincy Jones. "Her animation has a whimsy to it, but there's a real power," Robin Williams said some years ago. "It's a weird combination. I can't describe it. I can only pimp for it. This is way beyond Mickey."

They received their first Academy Award in 1959 for "Moonbird," an account of children at play which used the recorded voices of their two sons. Their second Oscar came in 1962, for "The Hole," which features jazz great Gillespie and George Mathews as the voices of two New York construction workers talking as they work underground which leads to their debate about nuclear destruction. The third was in 1966 for "Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature," featuring the upbeat brass band. The Academy presented a salute to the Hubleys in 1985 and MoMA presented a complete retrospective in 1997.

Hubley's most recent film, "Northern Ice, Golden Sun," premiered earlier this month at the UCLA, and is scheduled to be shown in New York City at the MoMa on Jan. 8 at 6:00 p.m. as part of a celebration of her life. It will air on the Sundance Channel in April. It is described by UCLA as conveying "the Inuit's deep attachment to their land and their remarkable ability to adjust to the natural world."

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Jazz Foundation of America, 322 W. 48th St., New York, NY 10036.

*** Peace Campaign ***
In 1999, UNESCO and several Nobel Peace Laureates launched the Manifesto 2000 signature campaign. The Manifesto 2000 is not a petition; rather, it's a commitment by each person who signs it to follow the six principles of a culture of peace in his or her daily life, family, work and community:

1) respect all life
2) reject violence
3) share with others
4) listen to understand
5) preserve the planet
6) rediscover solidarity

The Manifesto 2000 has been signed by a staggering 75 million people worldwide, with more people signing every day.

UNESCO's Director-General Matsuura stated that: "It is a sign of hope that decision-makers, gathered at the Millennium Summit, and civil society, represented by the millions of signatories of the Manifesto 2000, share the same commitment. For peace cannot be brought about by decree. Whilst political, economic or military settlements are necessary to establishing peace, they are not enough. Each individual must uphold the commitment in practice, in his or her daily life, through the simplest of acts. I am delighted to see that the world movement for a culture of peace is gathering momentum. During the international Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, we will increase our efforts so that it triumphs."

You can sign the Manifesto here: http://www.9-11peace.org/r.php3?redir=58


*** Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member ***
The Coalition for Quality Children's Media's relies on the generous support of its members and donors to support its programs. An individual/family membership is only $25/year. An organizational membership is $100/year. An independent producer membership begins at $200/year. Visit our website (http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org) or call our office for an application form.


*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************
January 31 & February 1, Washington DC: The Lion & Lamb Project is offering a two-day Trainers' Seminar on ways to stop the marketing of violence to children. Now, more than ever, you can reach out to your community by becoming a Lion & Lamb Trainer and stress the point that violence is not fun or entertaining: it is tragic. Children growing up surrounded by "entertainment" violence cannot always easily make this distinction-- especially at a time when real violence is so prevalent on our television screens. This Trainers' Seminar is for educators, counselors, psychologists, youth leaders, religious leaders, activists and others interested in presenting Lion & Lamb materials to parents, clients and/or constituents. For more information, visit http://www.lionlamb.org/workshop_info.htm.

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]

 


December 16, 2001 Issue #11

QUOTE: "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." --Mother Teresa

Dear Friends,

I'm guessing that you're just about as busy as I am right now enmeshed in this Holiday Season. From everyone at KIDS FIRST! we send Blessings to all our friends and colleagues and wish you a most wonderful time with your friends and family. May your spirits be revived and refreshed and your solstice night be filled with light.

Happy Holidays

Ranny

**** Announcing: Semi-Finalists for the
KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award ******

Just in time for your Holiday shopping is our list of semi-finalist for the KIDS FIRST Best Children's Film, Video or DVD of the Year Award, sorted by age group, with a link to our web site for the full review. Please note that some newly endorsed titles do not have complete reviews posted yet. If you check back in a week or so they'll be up.

For 0 to 2-year-olds

Baby Genius: the Four Seasons
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201074
So Smart! Colors
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201114
Teletubbies: Go! Exercise with the Teletubbies
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200264
Teletubbies: Magic Pumpkin and Other Stories
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200192
Teletubbies: Christmas in the Snow
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200204

For 2 to 5-year-olds

Baby Songs: Silly Songs
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201113
Pooh's Grand Adventure
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201017
Dragon Tales: School Is Cool
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201106
Bear in the Big Blue House: Early to Bed
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201119
Dragon Tales: Let's Play Together
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201005
Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford Tries His
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201110
Bear in the Big Bluehouse: Storytelling with
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201118
Oobi
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201115
Dora the Explorer: to the Rescue
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201148
Dora the Explorer: Wish on a Star
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201150
Dora the Explorer: Swing into Action
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201149
Little Bill: What I Did at School
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201152
Little Bill: Me and My Family
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201151
Little Bill: Big Little Bill
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201153

For 6 to 12-year-olds

Scholastic's Magic School Bus Creepy, Crawly Fun!
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201132
Badger's Parting Gifts
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201156
My America: a Poetry Atlas of the United States
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201155
Monet: Shadow & Light
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201158
Goya: Awakened in a Dream
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201159
Barbie in the Nutcracker
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201160
All about Health & Hygiene
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201166
You Are a Masterpiece
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201162
Pisces and Gemini: a Case of Vanishing Stars
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201102
Eclipse: the Day the Sky Went Dark
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201103
Very Hungry Caterpillar
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201103
Ram in the Pepper Patch
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201008
Trouble on Planet Wait Your Turn
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200262
Kirikou
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201096
Can of Worms
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200265
Fantasia 2000
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200274
Sword in the Stone
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201035
Horse Sense
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201043
Pocahontas Ii Journey to a New World
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201035
Bear with Me
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201107
Motor Crosse
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=
201145
Peter Pan (Cathy Rigby)
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200222

For 12 to 18-year-olds

Joseph: King of Dreams
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=200180
Miracle Worker
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201003
Mvp: Most Valuable Primate
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201013
Princess Diaries
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201013
Color of Friendship
http://www.cqcm.com/c/db/db.cgi?setup_file=kfn&submit_search=yes&DBID=201089

**** KIDS FIRST! Producers make donations of more than 6,000 tapes, DVDs, CDs and CD-ROMs to 260 Children's Hospitals ******

Thanks again for the generous contributors to Meg's Gifts. More than 14 million children will enjoy the videos, DVDs, audio CDs and CD-ROMs that you've sent.
These hospitals are nationwide, many of which do not have budgets to purchase software. Your contributions help bring a smile to the faces of their many patients.

"We are grateful to you for thinking of the kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Items such as these are very much appreciated by all of the children. The videos will help the kids keep their minds on happy thoughts, and keep them smiling while spending those long hours at the hospital. The generosity of Meg's Gifts plays an important role in providing the best possible healthcare for the children of our region. With more than 150,000 children and families counting on us each year, we're thankful that we can count on your support in our efforts. On behalf of these children, I extend my gratitude and appreciation." Denise Hajos, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Contributors include:

A Full Service Imagination
Baby Einstein Co.
Baby School Company
Backyard Productions
Big Idea Productions
Boggle-Goggle Enterprises
Cathy & Marcy
Devine Entertainment
Disney
Fine Media Group
Genius Products
Great Plains National/Reading Rainbow
Her Interactive
Hollywood Video
Image Factory
Just For Kids Home Video
KHK, Inc
Looking Glass Productions
Millennium Entertainment
Monterey Home Video
The Multimedia Group
Munchkin, Inc
Pixie-Sage, LLC
Rhino
Schlesinger Video Productions
Sea Studios
Shadowplay Records & Video
Small Fry Productions
The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co.
Patch Products
Sony Wonder
TM Books & Video
Valley Entertainment
Virginia Records
Warner Brothers Home Video

****** Many thanks to Andrea Blain Public Relations ([email protected]) for her help in publicizing Meg's Gifts for us. Andrea is one of the few publicists that specialize in promoting children's media products and we highly recommend her services. If you are looking for a first-rate publicist, send her an email and have a conversation.


****** Kudos to Independent Producer, Kathy Byers ****

TV News Channel 12 New Jersey recently showcased the CD, Do You Wish You Could Fly? by Kathy Byers, a KIDS FIRST! endorsed title. All tracks on the CD were produced and recorded by Kathy. The cover artist is award-winning, syndicated cartoonist Rick Stromoski of Suffield, CT. For review and Juror comments visit www.kidsfirstinternet.org or www.childrensmusic.org. Kathy Byers leads the Children's Choir with guitar at Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church in Chatham, NJ where she resides with her husband, Jim and eight year-old son, Matthew.


*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************
January 31 & February 1, Washington DC: The Lion & Lamb Project is offering a two-day Trainers' Seminar on ways to stop the marketing of violence to children. Now, more than ever, you can reach out to your community by becoming a Lion & Lamb Trainer and stress the point that violence is not fun or entertaining: it is tragic. Children growing up surrounded by "entertainment" violence cannot always easily make this distinction-- especially at a time when real violence is so prevalent on our television screens. This Trainers' Seminar is for educators, counselors, psychologists, youth leaders, religious leaders, activists and others interested in presenting Lion & Lamb materials to parents, clients and/or constituents. For more information, visit http://www.lionlamb.org/workshop_info.htm.

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]

 


November 21 2001



QUOTE: "Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in
awareness." - James Thurber

Dear Friends,

I'd like to share this Thanks Giving Hymn from my friend and fellow camper, Chris Irving:

Praise! The branches bold and bare,
Tracing love knots in the air.
Praise! The skyways snow geese take,
Leaving longing in their wake.
Praise! Dry bulbs awaiting snow,
Needing frost to thrive and grow.
Praise! This cave time dark and deep,
Granting nourishment and sleep.

Ranny

**** KIDS FIRST! Film Festival ****
**** Training for Junior Film Critics Club Facilitators ****

The Coalition for Quality Children's Media's Juror Training program has been renamed the KIDS FIRST! Junior Film Critics Clubs. We believe that violent and biased media profoundly affects children and that teaching children critical viewing skills enables them to make their own good media choices. The goal of our Junior Film Critics Clubs is to teach kids how to become more critical media users and to reduce the effects of and exposure to violent and biased media. Adults are trained to become Facilitators for the KIDS FIRST! Junior Film Critics Club in a one-day training program which will be offered in Santa Fe on Saturday, December 15. For more information, contact our office: 505-989-8076 or email [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. Future trainings will be scheduled after the new year in Los Angeles and New York. If you'd like to be on the mailing list to receive announcement, let us know.

***** MEG'S GIFTS *****

Today Meg's Gifts are arriving at our 258 Children's hospitals and related instutitions all over the country. Thanks to the generosity of producer-donors, volunteers in Fort Wayne, IN and KIDSFIRST! children and their families will be enjoying video tapes, cds and other media that provide programs that are non-violent, non-biased, and devoid of inappropriate sexual content.

Many heartfull thanks to everyone who participated in this project.

Six thousand pieces of material were donated to comfort and to reassure young patients, in a situation that is lonely, frightening , painful and boring. All the time and effort you gave to bring something good true and fun to children who need and appreciate it so much brightens everyone's life. The Best to each of you.

Sincerely,
Mardi Griffin Clemens, Director Meg's Gifts

Contributors include:

A Full Service Imagination
Baby Einstein Co.
Baby School Company
Backyard Productions
Big Idea Productions
Boggle-Goggle Enterprises
Cathy & Marcy
Devine Entertainment
Disney
Fine Media Group
Genius Products
Great Plains National/Reading Rainbow
Her Interactive
Hollywood Video
Image Factory
Just For Kids Home Video
KHK, Inc
Looking Glass Productions
Millennium Entertainment
Monterey Home Video
The Multimedia Group
Munchkin, Inc
Pixie-Sage, LLC
Rhino
Schlesinger Video Productions
Sea Studios
Shadowplay Records & Video
Small Fry Productions
The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co.
Patch Products
Sony Wonder
TM Books & Video
Valley Entertainment
Virginia Records
Warner Brothers Home Video


******** KIDS FIRST! New Endorsements ********
This is a partial listing of our most recent endorsements. You'll find more on our web site, http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org. Enjoy these recommendations for your family viewing this weekend and throughout the Holiday season.

Audio

** HUNK-TA-BUNK-TA CHANTS - Chants are sounds, words or phrases repeated or sung over and over in rhythmic patterns. There is a fine line between spoken chants and songs and this production, a collection of 36 traditional and original chants from around the world, blurs that line. Adult Juror Comments: Clear, smooth sound. Appealing mix of song and chants from many cultures. Song book and format make it easy for children to memorize the lyrics. Promotes language skills by introducing a wide range of sounds and combinations. Broadens cultural knowledge. Kid Juror Comments: Those that liked it, liked it a lot. Especially appealing to African-American kids. "It showed being proud of your country and how we treat each other." "I liked the music. I liked saying the words. It was great keeping time with the music." "Very good." Audio. 58 min.; $15.99; Age: 3-8. HUNK-TA-BUNK-TA MUSIC. www.hunktabunkta.com

Infants and Toddlers

*** TELETUBBIES: CHRISTMAS IN THE SNOW - The Teletubbies have fun playing in the snow when it falls all over Teletubbyland, covering all their favorite things. Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po build a snow tubby and take a peek into how children around the world celebrate Christmas. Adult Juror Comments: Depicts a peaceful and loving atmosphere. Even when it is snowing, the sun is shining. Great segments of different countries and Christmas traditions. "Too cute for words." Kid Juror Comments: Loved it. They danced, clapped and sang along. Even the babies enjoyed watching the snow fall and pointed to the snowman. Older kids were curious about the differentlanguages spoken. Best for this age when broken into smaller viewing segments. Video. 90 min.; $29.95; Age: 1-3. ITSY BITSY ENTERTAINMENT CO., THE. www.tibeco.com

Pre-Schoolers

*** BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE: STORYTELLING WITH BEAR - Bear ponders how many wonderful words there are and shares his understanding of words with Tutter and Pip & Pop. A huge storytelling festival takes place in the Big Blue House. Adult Juror Comments: Adorable characters, excellent role modeling, great education. Wonderful songs and stories. Focuses on words and their value in communication. Does not dumb down information for kids. Teaches kids words, life skills and how to be friends. Kid Juror Comments: Loved Bear and understood the messages about words. "There are lots of words everywhere." "Bear is cool." "Bear helps everybody get along." "I like when we get to dance and sing." "We tried telling a story." Video. 50 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-7. COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINMENT. www.cthv.com

** CLOCKS SYMPHONY, THE - Uses classical music, fun songs and colorful animation to teach how to tell time and the concept of "time of day." Adult Juror Comments: Good introduction to the concept of time. Simple style, soothing music, slow pace. Absence of dialog provides an opportunity for parents to interact with children in identifying numbers, letters and objects. Uses humor appropriately. Kid Juror Comments: Youngest kids liked it the best; all of them liked the music. Older kids recited the time, younger ones listed the colors, shapes and alphabet. "I want to learn how to tell time." Older kids got restless. Video. 30 min.; $14.95; Age: 2-4. THE LITTLE FIDDLE COMPANY, INC. [email protected]minimaestro.com

Grade School

** JAR, THE: A TALE FROM THE EAST Based on a true story supposedly narrated over 1400 years ago. Follows a treasure that was discovered by a poor yet virtuous family who sets out to uncover the truth about their discovery, but is hindered by a greedy swindler. Adult Juror Comments: Good mid-eastern story with Arab setting and characters and a strong moral. Shows the value of honesty in a easy-to-follow animated format. Gets kids thinking about personal and social challenges, about hard work and the value of money and possessions. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it. "It said people should earn what they get, not steal it." Related to the characters: "The family was fair and truthful, like we would be." "The old man looked like me." "I liked it when the man showed his stinky toes." A little slow. Video. 63 min.; $24.99; Age: 5-8. FINE MEDIA GROUP, LLC. www.finemediagroup.com

** MEET JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (MEET THE MUSICIANS). Brings this 18th century composer to life with performances on the clavichord, harpsichord and grand piano. Set at the close of the Baroque era when Bach's music was consider by peers as old-fashioned and overly embellished. Starring Dennis Kobray. Adult Juror Comments: Displays time period well. Bach is brought to life as a human with the same impulses and feelings as we all have. "I loved seeing the different classical instruments and the insights into his process of composing." More instructional than entertainment. Kid Juror Comments: Found Bach and his life music interesting. "Better than reading a book to learn about Bach." "Kinda like a school lesson, only more fun." "The music sounded great! You could hear the differences between the harpsichord and piano." Video. 52 min.; $24.95; Age: 8-12. MEET THE MUSICIANS. www.meetthemusicians.com

*** MVP: MOST VALUABLE PRIMATE A sign-language-speaking, hockey-playing chimp skates away with the affections of an entire town - and helps two young kids find the courage to become champions. Adult Juror Comments: Fantastic. Wonderful story involving feelings and attitudes. Virtues from honesty to perseverance are personified, rather than preached. The characters play the story straight instead of wholesale slapstick. Sends a clear message of acceptance. Kid Juror Comments: Won them over, every one. Definitely would watch again. "Funny, crazy, exciting, terrific. Hilarious in places." Portrayal of hearing-impaired sister impressed them. "Even if you are different you can still do things." "I want to learn sign language." Video. 93 min.; $24.98; Age: 8-16. WARNER HOME VIDEO. www.warnerhomevideo.com


** THIRTEENTH YEAR, THE (DISNEY CHANNEL). A boy learns that his birth mother is a mermaid after he begins to grow scales on his thirteenth birthday. Rental only. Adult Juror Comments: Enjoyable family film, well written and well told. Lots of action and comedy with a serious ending. Fine scenery and quality photography; auditory accents enhance the drama. A contemporary version of old legends, showing real kids with real problems. Kid Juror Comments: Lots of good laughs. Related well to characters, especially the nerd who becomes the hero. "I liked the big explosion from the tuba when it fell in the pool." "It shows how it will be when we're teenagers, but we covered our eyes during the kissy part." Video. 89 min.; $0; Age: 6-12. BUENA VISTA HOME VIDEO/DISNEY. www.disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/

** WINNIE THE POOH: SEASONS OF GIVING - Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit set out on a quest for winter...which they somehow have missed. They go on a wild search for the perfect ingredients for their Thanksgiving feast, and get a surprise Christmas visit from a special friend. Adult Juror Comments: Positive, light and funny. Pooh is always adorable. Good modeling of friendship, helping, caring and sharing. Good holiday theme. A little slow; stories within the story may confuse youngest viewers. "Made for kids, but appealing to adults watching it." Kid Juror Comments: Amused them, even if they had seen it before. They all love Pooh and his friends. "I think that Pooh is a very good friend to have." "Rabbit was kind of bossy but he usually is. He wouldn't let Pooh be helpful." "Tigger gets in the way sometimes." Video. 70 min.; $22.99; Age: 4-10. BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT/DISNEY. www.disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/

Middle and High School

*** COLOR OF FRIENDSHIP, THE In 1977, African-American Congressman Dellums and his family agree to host an African exchange student. Unexpectedly, the student, Mahree Bok, is a white South African, and now the family has to face their own prejudices about the color of friendship. Adult Juror Comments: Well written and acted. The complex issue of Apartheid is presented from a child's perspective for a child's level of understanding. Separates "bad people" from "bad things" people are taught. A powerful true story that promotes acceptance of diversity. Kid Juror Comments: Appreciated the depth of Apartheid issues. "It showed how discrimination is going to get better one person at a time." "It is realistic, not sugary sweet." "I did not know racism is so hard on people." "I liked the sound and the African drums." Video. 89 min.; $14.99; Age: 10-18. BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT/DISNEY. www.disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/

** JOCK: A TRUE TALE OF FRIENDSHIP Young Percy Fitzpatrick, living in the wilds of Africa in the late 1800s, saves a pup from drowning. The two go on to share adventures and hardships, and the pup proves to be clever, courageous and loyal enough to be a best friend. Adult Juror Comments: Worthwhile family film. Filmed on location in Africa with appealing shots of animals and good music. Differentiates between hunting for survival and hunting for sport. Takes viewers through a wide range of emotions and issues designed to make them think. Kid Juror Comments: Especially like the nature scenes and animals. Some found the pace a little slow. Related to Jock's commitment to the environment. "It made me want to stand up for what I believe in." "I want to learn more about how people lived in Africa in the past." Video. 90 min.; $19.99; Age: 8-12. QUESTAR, INC. www.questar1.com


** THREE WISHES Set in the prosperous 1950s, this fatherless family finds magic and kindness when they bring an injured drifter and his dog into their home. There is more to the stranger and his canine companion than meets the eye. Adult Juror Comments: Good story, production quality, and character development. Contains adult themes: brief nudity, some sexuality and fear of losing a child to cancer. Faithfully reflects the time period: characters are white, smoke and don't wear seatbelts Kid Juror Comments: Sometimes experienced difficulty following storyline but understood by the end of the movie. "It's touching, both happy and sad." "I want to learn more about the Korean War." Video. 115 min.; $9.94; Age: 14-18. HBO. www.hbo.com

Adult - Parenting

* LEARNING FOR LIFE: KIDS AND LEARNING DIFFERENCES (DISNEY CHANNEL). Profiles children who have overcome learning obstacles and learned to cope with hyperactivity, inattention and other challenges. Perspectives from parents, students and administrators offer hope and understanding. Adult Juror Comments: Informative, interesting, sensitive, documentary style. Jumps around. Great message that kids are just kids even though some learn differently. Good diversity shown. TV. 24 min.; Age: Adult. DISNEY CHANNEL. www.disneychannel.com

* PLAYTIME FOR BABIES An interactive play program to assist baby's sensory and physical milestone development. Features a mother playing with her baby while focusing on visual, tactile, hearing, strength and movement milestones. Adult Juror Comments: Practical and useful information, particularly for first-time parents. Effective examples of play techniques and positive modeling for warm interaction. Lack of father/male caregiver reinforces gender biases. No cultural diversity shown. Kid Juror Comments: Video. 28 min.; $15.95; Age: Adults BABY PLAYTIME. 310-541-377

******* PRODUCER NOTICES ********

KIDS FIRST! FILM FESTIVAL
Semi-finalists for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival will be selected by November 30 and we have contacted producers for screening copies of their titles for our senior jury. All-star-rated titles that were released between October 2000 and September 2001 have been designated as semi-finalists for the Festival. If you have not been contacted, please contact our office. 505-989-8076 or email [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org.
SNEAK PREVIEWS: If you have a new release that you'd like to schedule a sneak preview of at the Festival, please contact our office for more details.

** KIDS FIRST! Web Site Received Top 8 Award from Bigchalk.com**
NEWSLETTER: Top 8

Looking for educationally-sound videos, CD-ROMs or TV shows? Look no further than KIDS FIRST. You'll find a collection of 1,500 reviews authored by volunteer jurors (including child development experts, teachers and parents) drawn from a pool of 300 adults and 3,000 children from varied economic, geographic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Every program has been "adult-approved and kid-tested" for children up to 18. http://i.bigchalk.com/U/8-01360101/&Userid;


******* Application Fee Change ********

Since many of our producers have had difficulties to deal with this fall, we've extended the timeframe for the increase in our application fees from October 15 to November 30, 2001. For non-Coalition members, the application fee will be $300 per title. For Coalition members, the application fee will remain at $150/title, with the fee waived for members who pay $1,000 or more per year. (Quantity varies with membership level) This is another good reason to consider becoming a member. For as little as $200 / year an independent membership more than pays for itself when your second title is submitted. Other membership benefits include free use of the KIDS FIRST! logo on your packaging and a link to your site from the KIDS FIRST! site.


****** ADD YOUR DVD TITLES ******
Members may apply their KIDS FIRST! endorsement to previously endorsed videos titles for free by sending us a DVD copy for a staff review. Non-members will be charged a $15 processing fee.


******** NEW KIDS FIRST! BOOK ! ************

Remember, our new edition of A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos,, DVDs, and CD-ROMs is now available. "Certainly, nothing can take the place of parents' using media alongside their kids, or choosing what's best for their own families. But A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs gives parents a great place to start. It's a terrific tool for narrowing down the all-too-dizzying array of children's media available today." (Sholly Fisch, MediaKidz) A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos (Mars Publishing, $19.95, quality paperback, ISBN 1-931199-04-3, UPC 679762050020)


*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************
December 14, 2001 International Day Children's Day of Broadcasting; UNICEF, 212-326-7299 or www.unicef.org/icdb
December 15, 2001 Junior Film Critics Club Facilitator's Training in Santa Fe. Contact the Coalition for details. [email protected]://www.kidsfirstinternet.org
January 31 & February 1, Washington DC: The Lion & Lamb Project is offering a two-day Trainers' Seminar on ways to stop the marketing of violence to children. Now, more than ever, you can reach out to your community by becoming a Lion & Lamb Trainer and stress the point that violence is not fun or entertaining: it is tragic. Children growing up surrounded by "entertainment" violence cannot always easily make this distinction-- especially at a time when real violence is so prevalent on our television screens. This Trainers' Seminar is for educators, counselors, psychologists, youth leaders, religious leaders, activists and others interested in presenting Lion & Lamb materials to parents, clients and/or constituents. For more information, visit http://www.lionlamb.org/workshop_info.htm.

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]


November 6, 2001



QUOTE: "When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit. Which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance. We've learned to fly the air like birds, we've learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven't learned to walk the earth as brothers and sisters." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Dear Friends,

During the last month, I have been disturbed with how we and our children have been bombarded with scenes of the results of vicious violence. The images of buildings blowing up and falling down were not, unfortunately, new. Not to children who watch a lot of television and movies. Scenes such as these are only too familiar in our entertainment media and only too familiar is the marketing of violent programs to children. The attack on the World Trade Center occurred exactly one year to the day the Federal Trade Commission issued a report about the marketing of violent entertainment to children.. With our current movie rating system, acts of violence are considered acceptable for all ages. As part of healing our children it is time to cease showing them role models where violence is the acceptable way to solve problems.

Let's stop the violence by "Turning Off the Media Violence" in our own homes. Stop a moment and think about how television, movies, and video games affect children's behaviors. In the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, I've reflected about stories I've heard: how a four-year-old cheered when he watched the repeated footage of the plane flying into the building; how a seven-year-old told his schoolmates, "It's okay, it's only tv." I believe it's time to step up our actions and become more vigilant in tuning out violent and biased programming... programming that our kids watch and copy-cat.

Many of us overlook how profoundly television impacts children. American children spend more time watching television during their school-aged years than they spend in school. The recent violence in schools has made safety the number one concern of parents and everyone is concerned about the causes of violence. Television is implicated repeatedly for its role in presenting negative role models. What can we do? How can we make a difference? We can begin by changing things in our own homes and in our own communities.

I strongly suggest that you begin in your own home. Here's some suggestions that you can easily implement:
1. TURN OFF VIOLENT TV PROGRAMS. Many parents feel they can't say no to their kids. When your kids want to watch a program that you find is full of violent or biased programming, tell them that they can't watch it.

2. Keep TV sets out of your child's bedroom. Studies show that kids with televisions in their rooms watch more than those that don't and there is little, if any, monitoring of what they watch.

3. Don't watch violent programming when kids are around. You're their role model. When you say one thing and do another, you're giving them mixed messages.

4. Become critical viewers. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. There are good programs for kids that are beneficial in a variety of ways from increasing kids' cognitive skills to teaching them how to get along with people from different cultures. Teach your kids to make good choices.

5. Watch together. Know what messages your kids are hearing and seeing. Look for programs you can watch with your child and talk about afterwards.

6. Be an active consumer. If a program violates your values, write to the sponsor, network, or local network affiliate. Let them know you're dissatisfied.

7. Make a commitment to change. It's hard to change old habits but it's worth it. The morals and values we teach our children determine what kind of adult they become.

Be well and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Ranny

**** KIDS FIRST! Film Festival ****
**** Training for Junior Film Critics Club Facilitators ****

We are putting together our plans for our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2002 and will have cities and dates for you next month. If you are interested in bringing our festival to your city, please contact our office and let us know. It's possible. Our festival is designed to be highly portable, and highly interactive. Integral to its success is that local Kids are the Celebrities - Celebrity Critics. To become engaged as critics, they need to join a local Junior Film Critics Club. These clubs are easy to establish, fun to run, and kids really learn critical viewing skills that help them make better media choices. We have scheduled a training program for adults and young adults to become Facilitators of the Junior Film Critics Clubs in Santa Fe on December 15. For more information, contact our office: 505-989-8076. Future trainings will be scheduled after the new year in Los Angeles and New York. If you'd like to be on the mailing list to receive announcement, let us know.

***** MEG'S GIFTS *****

Thanks to Rose Einstein at Video Business Magazine for helping us get the word out to the industry about our need for donations for our Annual Meg's Gifts Program. Meg's Gifts needs help from our industry members to give 15 million hospitalized children the chance to watch and enjoy non-violent children's videos and DVDs. Instead of being bombarded with televised images of recent horrific events or violent TV shows, young patients, who spend long hours in bed with little to do, will have a chance to turn to quality children's videos and DVDs thanks to your donation. Please join us in championing great children's programming on video and DVD as the best way to help theses kids escape from their pain and suffering by giving them easily accessible entertainment that is uplifting, fun and full of hope.

Meg's Gifts's goal this holiday season is to donate 10,000 videotapes and DVDs to more than 250 hospitals across the country, from San Diego Children's Hospital to Children's Hospital of Greenville, South Carolina. The Coalition has already collected more than 3500 videos and DVDs from independent producers. Now... we need help from our Industry Leaders. It's just that simple.

In order to guarantee non-violent programs, Meg's Gifts accepts only programs that are KIDS FIRST! endorsed. As Cathleen Randon from the Regional Medical Center for Children, New Orleans says, "The best part of your donation is knowing that your organization has put their ‘stamp of approval,' KIDS FIRST!, on each one."

Meg's Gifts is administered by KIDS FIRST!, a project of the national not for profit Coalition for Quality Children's Media. To make your donation, contact Mardi Clemens at 219-424-8881 or Ranny Levy at 505-989-8076.

******** KIDS FIRST! New Endorsements ********
This is a partial listing of our most recent endorsements. You'll find more on our web site, http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org.

AUDIO
** GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS (FROGGY'S COUNTRY STORYBOOK). Country music star Pam Tillis joins MC Froggy and narrates this adaptation of the kids' classic story. Features excerpts of hit country songs performed by Froggy's Country Storybook Players. Adult Juror Comments: Lively version of a familiar story. Creative use of language. Good narration and sound quality. "I've never been one for country music, but this tape is delightful." Picture book adds to the presentation, but timing the page turns to the music is awkward. Kid Juror Comments: Got them bouncing. Those that liked the music, really liked it a lot. "It made me want to sing and dance." "I like to hear the little baby bear." All had trouble following the music with the storybook. Audio. 19 min.; $9.99; Age: 3-6. VIRGINIA RECORDS. www.froggyscsbook.com

CD-ROM
** FORENSICS CD-ROM Sort data and run tests to determine the chemical makeup of evidence and to learn the importance of items recovered from crime scenes. Adult Juror Comments: Easy to use, clean visuals, great versatile program. Good educational fun, could be used in the classroom. Pace of material is completely controlled by user. Overall interesting and good effects. "Adults would also enjoy this. I found it fascinating." Kid Juror Comments: Loved being able to log onto the Discovery site and REALLY loved the mummies. "I liked seeing the mummy stuff a lot and how crime scenes are looked at." "It would help me to write a report for school." "Fun and easy to get into." CD-Rom. WIN/MAC; min.; $49.95; Age: 12-18. DISCOVERY CHANNEL SCHOOL.

TELEVISION
*** OOBI Oobi, the hand puppet, interacts with other hand puppet characters in five-minute acts that help children learn about everyday activities, such as bathing, dancing and making crafts. Adult Juror Comments: Thoroughly enjoyable. Smart, creative and unique. Short, one-set segments and simple, two-word sentences are easy to follow. Hand characters are highly imitable, racially diverse and model excellent behavior. "Great alternative for commercial breaks." Kid Juror Comments: Extremely well received. Kids laughed, danced and did especially clever things with their hands: made shapes, puppets and just looked at their hands differently. "When the girl hand kissed us - I loved that part the most." "It was too short!" TV. 15 min.; $0; Age: 2-6. NOGGIN. www.noggin.com


VIDEO
Infants and Toddlers

*** BABY GENIUS: THE FOUR SEASONS - Shows children the simple beauty of a tuning leaf, the wonder of spring flowers in bloom, the unforgettable delight of a first snowfall all accompanied by the soundtrack of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Adult Juror Comments: Colorful images well choreographed to high quality sound. Highlights associative seasonal events. Good to grow with: something for babies, something for toddlers. Nice peaceful activity. Shows diversity. Kid Juror Comments: Lots of interaction - toddlers sat through the entire video and talked to it. Littler ones bounced, laughed, clapped and smiled. They loved seeing the animals, and said "again! again!" when it was over. Video. 37 min.; $9.99; Age: 1-3. GENIUS PRODUCTS. www.babygenius.com

*** SO SMART! COLORS - Pink pigs, orange tractors and green grasshoppers introduce your child to the world of colors. Each color has its own tale. Includes a CD-ROM featuring interactive games and activities based on the video. Adult Juror Comments: Sweet, uncomplicated and entertaining. Fabulous little stories, captivating presentation, gentle pace. A wonderful way to learn colors and introduce language. Useful suggestions for parent at the start of the video. CD-ROM features are a great bonus. Kid Juror Comments: Kept them glued to the set. Liked guessing the color before the word was read, and talked about some of the things they saw afterward. The CD was a big hit with all - "Can we play the music with dinner?" Video. 30 min.; $14.95; Age: 1-3. BABY SCHOOL COMPANY INC., THE.
www.sosmart.com

Pre-School

** ADVENTURES OF ZIMMO - TRUCKS (ADVENTURES OF ZIMMO). Join Zimmo from the planet Zorion as he reveals the wonders of trucking. Visit a busy truck stop, eat with the truckers and travel down the highway in an 18-wheeler. Trucks make the world go round! Adult Juror Comments: Positive, friendly and enjoyable. A lot of information, new words and neat live footage. Zimmo is curious about trucks and shares what he learns. Doesn't talk down to kids. "If you have a child who's crazy about trucks, this is the video for you." Kid Juror Comments: Really liked Zimmo and how he got to ride on a truck. Enjoyed the sequence that showed breadmaking. "Zimmo is cool." "The humans were all nice and showed Zimmo everything." "I liked the operations trucking and house building." Video. 30 min.; $9.95; Age: 3-8. C J AND ME. 503-638-6216

*** BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE: HALLOWEEN & THANKSGIVING Bear and his friends discover dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating for Halloween. Then, everyone comes together to create a Thanksgiving Day meal and pageant for friends. They sing many songs and learn how fun it is to celebrate their blessings. Adult Juror Comments: Colorful, enriching, exciting presentation. Wouldn't any parent want Bear as a substitute caregiver? Original and creative, nothing is being copied here. Characters are great friends for any young viewers. "I think I may enjoy it as much as the children." Kid Juror Comments: Awesome! "We like Bear." "I like it when Bear smells." "I like the songs and characters." "We want to make our own pumpkins and decorate for Thanksgiving." "I learned about Thanksgiving. I'm going to tell the story next Thanksgiving." Video. 50 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-6. COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINMENT. http://www.cthv.com


*** DRAGON TALES: LET'S BE FRIENDS (DRAGON TALES). Six-year-old Emmy and four-year-old Max have three magical adventures in Dragon Land as they help their dragon pals learn to be considerate and resolve their conflicts. The friends put on a puppet show, play baseball, and search for the rare Jugglebug. Adult Juror Comments: Wonderful content, bright scenes, upbeat message. Interesting and appealing dragons deliver morals but aren't preachy. Includes several high-interest topics: bugs, juggling, puppets and sports. Stresses cooperation and resolving conflicts with words. Kid Juror Comments: Absolutely loved it. Some watched it three times, singing and playing to the music. "Zach was mad, then he got happy. He was funny and like a clown." "Everybody was happy when the songs were playing." "They learned to be nice." "I can be a good friend." Video. 40 min.; $12.95; Age: 2-5. COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINMENT. http://www.cthv.com


*** BABY SONGS: SILLY SONGS - Ten interactive silly songs from children's music legend, Hap Palmer, encourages kids to act silly to the music and in the process, learn all sorts of skills and knowledge like rhyming, parts of the body, and to handle a bad day. Adult Juror Comments: Fun, educational and highly entertaining. Warm and welcoming atmosphere. Simple, lighthearted way to show kids lessons. Short and sweet footage of racially diverse kids, including a handicapped child. "Speaks directly to the pre-school population." Kid Juror Comments: Couldn't sit still. Smiled, giggled, danced and sang along. "I had fun dancing to the silly songs and they were fun to sing." "There is a lot of stuff to do." "We touched our toes to our nose and sang the pretzel song." "I like the backwards song!" Video. 30 min.; $12.98; Age: 4-6. ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT. www.anchorbayentertainment.com

School Age

** PARABLES FOR KIDS, VOLUME 2 (PARABLES FOR KIDS). This version of Jesus' parables - stories with unexpected endings - is adapted just for children. Includes The Talents, The Good Shepherd, The Lost Coin, The Man with Two Sons, The House Built on Rock. Close-captioned. Adult Juror Comments: Good for families, Sunday school and Christian schools as a reinforcement of the parables of Jesus. Easy to understand format. Simple animation is sweet but unpolished by today's standards - words and animation don't match. Kid Juror Comments: Understood the stories and related to the characters. "We learned how to treat different people according to what Jesus taught." "The people acted like we do sometimes." "I'd like it better if the animation was better." Video. 22 min.; $12.95; Age: 6-10. PAULINE BOOKS AND MEDIA. www.pauline.org

** SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE WITCH'S GHOST (SCOOBY-DOO). Scooby-Doo and the gang go sleuthing into the supernatural at a haunted house in New England, where they learn a good lesson about judging people by appearances. Adult Juror Comments: Wholesome, healthy entertainment. Good plot, music mysteries and clues. Teaches kids not to be fearful and to "use your brain to unravel the mystery. "Scooby's team is diverse and positive." Kid Juror Comments: Kids loved the animation and caught the lesson of "don't judge people by their appearance." "Scooby and Shaggy always help each other when they're in trouble." "I relate to Shaggy because I'm a scaredy-cat." Video. 70 min.; $19.96; Age: 5-11. WARNER HOME VIDEO. www.warnerhomevideo.com

** TELL-TALE HEART This faithful adaptation Poe's best known short story explores murder, madness, and betrayal in a compelling study of a man driven by his own demons to take the life of another. Adult Juror Comments: Using a dramatic-reading style, honors Poe's story with integrity. Doesn't dumb down the language. Michael Sollazzo's portrayal as the psychotic murderer is sensitively portrayed. The gruesome details are left to the imagination of the viewer. Kid Juror Comments: Probably not a video that teens will pick up without some persuasion. None were overly enthusiastic about it. All agreed they would have liked more action. It held their attention but didn't captivate them. Video. 25 min.; $24.95; Age: 14-18. MONTEREY HOME VIDEO. http://www.montereymedia.com

** UNDER WRAPS Comedy horror about three kids who accidentally free a 3,000-year-old mummy from his resting place…and have to get him back by midnight. Adult Juror Comments: Humorous, not-too-scary horror story. Lighthearted. Shows good teamwork - kids work together to do what is right. Interesting camera angles and good use of music increase suspense. Impressive performances by child actors. Kid Juror Comments: Totally involved in the fun. "We liked it but some people may think that the mummy looked kind of freaky." "I'd never go as far as they did in their adventures, but it's fun to pretend." "I liked it when they put perfume on the mummy." Video. 89 min.; $14.99; Age: 8-12. BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT/DISNEY. www.disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/

** WHEN GOOD GHOULS GO BAD Danny is shocked to learn that the town he just moved to is unable to celebrate Halloween due to a local curse. With the aid of his recently deceased (but still kicking) uncle, Danny battles an army of ghouls to break the curse. Adult Juror Comments: Spooky Halloween story that's funny and exciting but not too scary. Imaginative effects and makeup. Positive, nurturing relationship between Danny and his grandfather helps him when his father is absent. Zombies emerging from the grave could offend some. Kid Juror Comments: No wandering attention on this one. Made the kids think about the behaviors they see every day - such as bullying - in a new light. Saw that superstition and prejudice could adversely affect their lives. "Very interesting." "It was like a costume party." Video. 93 min.; $14.98; Age: 8-12. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT. www.tcfhe.com

** BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE, THE - Whimsical approach to basic English grammar as retired teacher presents light-hearted tutorials in and around her cozy cottage on the seashore. Includes two videos and reproducible workbook with exercises, tests and answer key. Adult Juror Comments: Educational. Interesting, well organized, in-depth study of grammar. Cheery host in a lovely seaside setting made the lessons less intimidating. Best for late elementary to junior high students, or basic adult learners. Very slow. Kid Juror Comments: High-schoolers found the content suitable for themselves but the presentation geared for younger students. "The appeal is for a younger audience and would catch their interest." "It starts out simple and gradually becomes more in depth." "Good examples." Video. 156 min.; $109.95; Age: 10-14. SPLASHES ON THE RIVER. www.splashesfromtheriver.com

******* PRODUCER NOTICES ********

KIDS FIRST! FILM FESTIVAL
Semi-finalists for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival will be selected by November 30 and we will be contacting producers for screening copies of their titles for our senior jury.
SNEAK PREVIEWS: If you have a new release that you'd like to schedule a sneak preview of at the Festival, please contact our office for more details.


******* Application Fee Change ********

Since many of our producers have had difficulties to deal with this fall, we've extended the timeframe for the increase in our application fees from October 15 to November 30, 2001. For non-Coalition members, the application fee will be $300 per title. For Coalition members, the application fee will remain at $150/title, with the fee waived for members who pay $1,000 or more per year. (Quantity varies with membership level) This is another good reason to consider becoming a member. For as little as $200 / year an independent membership more than pays for itself when your second title is submitted. Other membership benefits include free use of the KIDS FIRST! logo on your packaging and a link to your site from the KIDS FIRST! site.


****** ADD YOUR DVD TITLES ******
Members may apply their KIDS FIRST! endorsement to previously endorsed videos titles for free by sending us a DVD copy for a staff review. Non-members will be charged a $15 processing fee.


******** NEW KIDS FIRST! BOOK ! ************

Remember, our new edition of A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos,, DVDs, and CD-ROMs is now available. "Certainly, nothing can take the place of parents' using media alongside their kids, or choosing what's best for their own families. But A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs gives parents a great place to start. It's a terrific tool for narrowing down the all-too-dizzying array of children's media available today." (Sholly Fisch, MediaKidz) A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos (Mars Publishing, $19.95, quality paperback, ISBN 1-931199-04-3, UPC 679762050020)


******* Member News******

Congratulations to Porter Novelli, one of the major public relations firms in the country. Coalition Board member Ruth Wooden has joined them as Senior Counselor and Chair of Public/Private Initiatives. Ruth worked with Porter Novelli during her tenure as President of the Advertising Council and will be working with both the New York and Washington offices to develop client programs in social marketing and advertising, cause marketing, and strategic philanthropy.

********** JUROR NOTICES **************
We've completely re-vamped our curriculum for training jurors - which we are now calling our Junior Film Critics Clubs. We've temporarily suspended our online training and have returned to our face to face training. The next Training session for Adults who wish to be facilitators for a Junior Film Critics Club is December 15 in Santa Fe. or

*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************
November 19, The 2001 UNICEF-International Council "Say Yes for Children" TV Award; New York Sheraton, New York, USA; 212-326-7211 or [email protected]

December 14, 2001 International Day Children's Day of Broadcasting; UNICEF, 212-326-7299 or www.unicef.org/icdb

January 31 & February 1, Washington DC: The Lion & Lamb Project is offering a two-day Trainers' Seminar on ways to stop the marketing of violence to children. Now, more than ever, you can reach out to your community by becoming a Lion & Lamb Trainer and stress the point that violence is not fun or entertaining: it is tragic. Children growing up surrounded by "entertainment" violence cannot always easily make this distinction-- especially at a time when real violence is so prevalent on our television screens. This Trainers' Seminar is for educators, counselors, psychologists, youth leaders, religious leaders, activists and others interested in presenting Lion & Lamb materials to parents, clients and/or constituents. For more information, visit http://www.lionlamb.org/workshop_info.htm.

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]
------------------------------------------------------------------------


September 12, 2001



QUOTE: Nothing ever is, but all things are becoming...All things are the offspring of flux and motion. Socrates

Dear Friends,

September is a turning point for many of us. Certainly, this September 11 will be a time that all of us remember the rest of our lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our many friends and colleagues on the east coast. We all hold the collective pain of the events as they have unfolded. It again validates the need and value of community and the fragileness of being human. In the words of long-time KIDS FIRST! member, Tish Rabe, I forward her suggestion for us to:

- Hug our children today; tell them over and over how wonderful they are.
- Tell our partners and friends we love them.
- Get living wills and wills in order; decide what YOU want to have happen when the time comes and you are no longer here to cast your vote.
- Do not put off for tomorrow what would be fun to do today; life is transient and none of us know what the future holds.

As families, neighbors, physicians, and teachers comfort each other, we are all trying to find the right words, especially in talking with the children we care for. I'd like to share with you a resource your might find helpful: Connect for Kids has gathered a few good resources for adults to help children with their fears and grief. http://www.connectforkids.org.

As an eternal optimist, I believe in the inherent goodness of people. It is up to us to steer the future in the proper direction.

Be well, and please stay in touch. We care about you.

Much love,

Ranny


******** NEW KIDS FIRST! BOOK ! ************

Remember, our new edition of A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos,, DVDs, and CD-ROMs is now available. "Certainly, nothing can take the place of parents' using media alongside their kids, or choosing what's best for their own families. But A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos, DVDs, and CD-ROMs gives parents a great place to start. It's a terrific tool for narrowing down the all-too-dizzying array of children's media available today." (Sholly Fisch, MediaKidz) A Parent's Guide to the Best Children's Videos (Mars Publishing, $19.95, quality paperback, ISBN 1-931199-04-3, UPC 679762050020)


******** KIDS FIRST! New Endorsements ********
This is a partial listing of our most recent endorsements. You'll find more on our web site, http://www.kidsfirstinternet.org.

itty bitty kids

** BABY DOOLITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD ANIMALS - Introduces young children to animals that can be found close to home. Hosted by Pavlov the Dog, the program features fun puppet shows accompanied by beautiful footage of animals in their natural environment, accented with classical music. Adult Juror Comments: Professional production that perfectly coordinates music with joyful antics of puppets, toys and animation. Distinctive style intelligently groups subjects, logically breaks for viewing in segments. Visual cues allow children to anticipate changes. Kid Juror Comments: Everyone enjoyed dancing and moving to the music - even parents. Older kids pointed out the animals they recognized. All responded well to familiar animals and toys. Very enjoyable watching. Video. 30 min.; $14.98; Age: 0-3. THE BABY EINSTEIN COMPANY www.babyeinstein.com

* JUMP JUMP JAZZY This odyssey full of live animals, stimulating images, and classical art features original and soothing jazz music written just for babies and toddlers. Introduces the instruments played in the music. Adult Juror Comments: Introduces kids to instruments and jazz. Weak production qualities. Uses vibrant colors, great works of art and live animals. Images do not always relate to the music or the theme. Too many images and animals are unfamiliar even to adults. Disjointed. Kid Juror Comments: Required significant interaction with an adult to keep them satisfied and interested. They liked seeing familiar animals such as ducks and bears. Some pretended to play the instruments and named the different shapes and objects. Video. 36 min.; $14.95; Age: 0-3. ZOOKNOWLOGY LEARNING COMPANY, LLC.

* MOO MOO MOZART Conductor Moo Moo Mozart introduces babies and toddlers to classical music, animals, and art and landmarks from around the world. Adult Juror Comments: Enjoyable music selections though visuals don't connect with the music. Repetitive; lacks continuity. Moves too fast. Mediocre production quality. Useful for introducing young ones to classical music. Kid Juror Comments: Partially engaged them. Those that watched, enjoyed it. Most liked "Moo." Some liked the fast moving images, and some liked the music. Many images are unfamiliar to the children and consequently, they don't relate to them. Video. 34 min.; $14.95; Age: 2-3. ZOOKNOWLOGY LEARNING COMPANY, LLC.

Pre-schoolers

** ROLIE POLIE OLIE: HAPPY HEARTS DAY - There's a new girl in Polieville, and pals Olie and Billie act pretty silly when she's around - until they learn a loving lesson in courtesy and friendship on Gooey Hearts Day! Adult Juror Comments: Interesting, unusual style. Good color, sound and movements. Wonderful role models and good silliness. Supportive situations and mischief all in one. Characters are made of geometric shapes. Some jurors found the voices irritating. Kid Juror Comments: Genuinely liked it. Enjoyed the bright colors and songs and appreciated the relationships between characters. "They are all good to each other because they are getting love." "Zooey made her dad's boo-boo better." "It was good to teach us manners." Video. 24 min.; $12.99; Age: 2-5. BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT/DISNEY.

** MY BEST ENGLISH, VOL. 3: NUMBERS - An entertaining teaching program designed to ease language-learning while promoting a positive environment for the child. This volume teaches numbers 1 to 20 via live images, animation, claymation, and classical music. Adult Juror Comments: Playful way to teach children numbers. Especially effective for children learning to speak English. Easy to understand. Somewhat uneven production. Best viewed in segments and with an adult to explain concepts. Kid Juror Comments: Counted along with the numbers; some danced. Younger children became restless. "We liked the video, it had nice music and colors." "I learned to tell time." "I liked the snails racing around." Video. 27 min.; $16.95; Age: 3-5. IMAGE FACTORY, INC. www.mybestenglish.met

Early Elementary

** SAINT FRANCIS AND HIS FRIENDS - St. Francis of Assisi's simplicity, spontaneity and joy make him the perfect saint for children. These four stories portray the vivid personalities of Francis and his friends as they joyfully lived the Gospel. Closed-caption. Adult Juror Comments: Well done, short episodes with biblical themes made understandable for children. Covers a variety of religious themes presenting clear values. "It made me want to learn more about St. Francis and brought back happy grade school memories." Kid Juror Comments: Liked learning about St. Francis. "The story with the wolf was cool." "St. Francis helped that mean man." "The video was pretty and it was good." "The drawings were kind of boring - their mouths don't move." Video. 20 min.; $12.95; Age: 5-8. PAULINE BOOKS AND MEDIA.

** SAINTS FOR KIDS, VOLUME 3 - Designed to inspire children, these four stories are a brief introduction to the saints: real men and women who are outstanding role models. Features Clare, John Bosco and Andrew. Includes discussion and activity guide. Closed caption. Adult Juror Comments: Good concept; easy-to-follow stories that can be viewed in segments on each saint. Positive themes that give kids ideas to model at home and in the community. "Even though a low-budget production, the pictures tell a beautiful and effective story." Kid Juror Comments: Found the content agreeable. "Everyone is special." "It showed how normal people became saints." "I learned to believe in the good and stick with it when you know it is right." Video. 13 min.; $12.95; Age: 5-8. PAULINE BOOKS AND MEDIA.

Later Elementary

** CHILDSTAR: THE SHIRLEY TEMPLE STORY Tells the true life story of the most successful child star ever known. But even with her talent, money and charisma, Shirley's charmed life had a down side too. Adult Juror Comments: Entertaining, historical references, strong female characters. Sensitive portrayal of racism: When Shirley dances on-screen with black tap dancer Bojangles, the producer states that it can be struck from showings in the South. Kid Juror Comments: Made an impression on them, especially scenes about Bojangles and Amelia Earhart. "We learned that things were different then." "People used her like a piece of property, buying and selling her." Liked the music and dancing. "She danced with spirit." Video. 94 min.; $19.99; Age: 8-12. BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT/DISNEY.

** OUR LIPS ARE SEALED (DVD) Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have to join the witness protection program and travel halfway around the world to escape the mob. Once in Australia, it's a struggle to keep quiet about their real identities. Action, laughs, super spies and surfer guys. Adult Juror Comments: Very appealing. Clever story with almost cartoonish comedic style. Tasteful clothes, clean language, and even the bad guys have a certain restraint. Has educational value: teens learn to keep their mouths shut. DVD features include outtakes and trailers. Kid Juror Comments: Girls liked it best. "It's a junior chick flick with action." Got everyone doing Australian slang and accents. All enjoyed the scenery and soundtrack. "The music was put in just the right spots." "There were a lot of kids and action, just a great movie." DVD. 90 min.; $24.98; Age: 8-14. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** ROPE AROUND THE WORLD What's more fun than jumping rope? Getting fit and feeling great. Learn jump-rope tricks with both adults and kids from cities all around the world. Adult Juror Comments: Lively, informative, instructional. Addresses health and wellness issues as well as jump-rope tricks. Fun to watch children from a variety of international cities learning to jump-rope. Lacks gender diversity. Kid Juror Comments: Delighted. Will recommend to friends. "The teacher can even jump-rope sitting down." "Jump-roping while doing an Irish Jig was awesome." "I learned a lot of cool new jump-rope tricks such as the crossover jump." Video. 30 min.; $14.95; Age: 6-12. HIP HOPPER INC.

Middle and High School

* RIVERS RUN, THE Set on a riverboat in Australia at the turn of the century, this epic saga of a family living on the river depicts the strength of family bonds, through good times as well as bad. Adult Juror Comments: Beautiful scenery. Story is long and best viewed in segments. Period piece set in Australia that provides a glimpse into life on a river boat. Portrays independence in women and highlights the importance of family ties. Kid Juror Comments: Ambivalent. The historical fiction mini-series format made it difficult to watch in one sitting. It's long and some found it a bit boring. "I thought the scenery was beautiful, but the story moved too slow and it's long." "There wasn't enough action." Video. 210 min.; $24.95; Age: 12-18. QUESTAR, INC.

Adults - Parenting

* LEARNING FOR LIFE: KIDS AND LEARNING DIFFERENCES - Profiles children who have overcome learning obstacles and learned to cope with hyperactivity, inattention and other challenges. Perspectives from parents, students and administrators offer hope and understanding. Adult Juror Comments: Informative, interesting, sensitive, documentary style. Jumps around. Great message that kids are just kids even though some learn differently. Good diversity shown. TV. 24 min.; Age: adult. DISNEY CHANNEL.

*** SLEEP LIKE A BABY: WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT BABIES AND SLEEP. The most popular sleep methods for new parents and their baby are sleep training and co-sleeping. This video is designed to help parents formulate a plan that is best for their family, offering solutions, choices and support. Adult Juror Comments: Professional, balanced view on both co-sleeping and sleep training infants. Interesting and effective format incorporates home-video-like segments of parents and studio quality interviews with experts. Comforting tone. Excellent for first-time parents. Kid Juror Comments: Video. 30 min.; $19.95; Age: Adult. HEART AT WORK PRODUCTIONS.

******* PRODUCER NOTICES ********

CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR
KIDS FIRST! FILM FESTIVAL

Now is the time to submit titles released earlier this year now if you haven't done so. We don't want your wonderful title(s) to be left out when our selection groups work on deciding which titles will be included in our KIDS FIRST! Film, Video and DVD Festival 2002. To be eligible for inclusion in the Festival, a title must be KIDS FIRST! - endorsed and have been released during the previous year.
We are accepting new applications through the end of September only. It takes 30-60 days for our jurors to complete the evaluations and our senior jury needs to receive the semi-finalist list of titles by the November 15.

Our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival 2002 is scheduled for 13 cities. Please don't miss your opportunity to be featured!

If you need an application form, or information about how to apply, please visit our web site (www.kidsfirstinternet.org) or call our office, 505-989-8076 to request information.

******* Application Fee Change ********

For the first time in the history of the Coalition, we are increasing our application fees as of October 15, 2001. For non-Coalition members, the application fee will be $300 per title. For Coalition members, the application fee will remain at $150/title, with the fee waived for members who pay $1,000 or more per year. (Quantity varies with membership level) This is another good reason to consider becoming a member. For as little as $200 / year an independent membership more than pays for itself when your second title is submitted. Other membership benefits include free use of the KIDS FIRST! logo on your packaging and a link to your site from the KIDS FIRST! site.

****** ADD YOUR DVD TITLES ******
Members may apply their KIDS FIRST! endorsement to previously endorsed videos titles for free by sending us a DVD copy for a staff review. Non-members will be charged a $15 processing fee.

********* Member News *********

Congratulations to Channel Thirteen/WNET in New York City for hiring CQCM Board member, Sarah Frank, who has joined as VP and Director of Education.

We came to and end of an era with the last new episode of Mr Rogers' Neighborhood produced two weeks ago. While the show will live on through constant reruns, production has closed down. KIDS FIRST! applauds Fred Rogers and the staff at Family Communications for their exemplary work in children's television. Even though the show has officially ceased production, the company will continue it's work in other areas.

One of our members, Sholly Fisch, former VP of Research for Sesam Workshop has started a consulting company, "MediaKidz" that specializes in research in children's media. You may reach Sholly Fisch and MediaKidz at [email protected]

********** JUROR NOTICES **************
Coalition for Quality Children's Media has completely re-vamped our curriculum for training our child jurors and we will begin teaching it to new or active adult facilitators this fall. We're excited about the possibilities that this new 6-week curriculum brings to the kids, making them even more actively involved in the evaluation process and involving them in the selection process for our KIDS FIRST! Film Festivals as well. Please watch our web site for additional information and a schedule of training times, dates, and locations.

*********************EVENTS and NEWS **********************
November 19, The 2001 UNICEF-International Council "Say Yes for Children" TV Award; New York Sheraton, New York, USA; 212-326-7211 or [email protected]

December 14, 2001 International Day Children's Day of Broadcasting; UNICEF, 212-326-7299 or www.unicef.org/icdb

To add your event to this list, please sent a notice to [email protected]

The New York Times/KIDS FIRST! Guide to the Best Children's Videos

A unique collaboration between the top two experts in the field, the New York Times and The Coalition for Quality Children's (CQCM) KIDS FIRST!® initiative, this authoritative, definitive guide includes more than one thousand entries of kid-tested, adult-approved KIDS FIRST! - endorsed videos, and more than 100 CD-ROMs. Writers for the Times contributed original reports on the personalities, issues, and trends in children's entertainment as well as a list of five hundred feature films that the entire family can enjoy, selected by New York Times "Home Video" columnist Peter M. Nichols.

The GUIDE TO THE BEST CHILDREN'S VIDEOS, which will be updated annually, and only lists recommended videos, provides both a quantitative and qualitative score that presents parents with extensive, informative guidelines, enabling them to make informed program choices. Bearing in mind that not all children's programs are appropriate for all children, THE GUIDE TO THE BEST CHILDREN¹S VIDEOS is broken down into chapters devoted to specific age groups: Infant/Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, and Junior and Senior High Schools.

THE NEW YORK TIMES/KIDS FIRST! GUIDE TO THE BEST CHILDREN'S VIDEOS
(Click to buy)

Foreword by LeVar Burton; Preface by Linda Ellerbee

A Pocket Books Trade Paperback Original

Price: $16.00; ISBN: 0-671-03669-6 


KIDS FIRST!® AT 1500 HOLLYWOOD VIDEO STORES

Hollywood Video has forged an alliance with the Coalition for Quality Children's Media to help kids and families select videos that have a positive impact on their entertainment experience. Videos endorsed by CQCM's KIDS FIRST! initiative are featured at all of Hollywood Video's over 1,400 stores nationwide, supported by in-store signage and other materials, as well as at Hollywood Entertainment's on-line division, Reel.com.

"Hollywood Video has always been committed to parents and kids, and with KIDS FIRST! we are taking our involvement to the next level," said Jeff Yapp, President, Hollywood Video. "There really is an interest from our customers on the need for entertainment that positively affects kids and families, and we believe the KIDS FIRST! program will call attention to hundreds of deserving titles."

 Hollywood Video is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world, opening an average one new store every day, with a weekly average of seven million customers in its over 1,400 locations. Hollywood Video's World Wide Web site is located at http://www.hollywoodvideo.com. Reel.com's website is at http://www.reel.com.


MEG'S GIFTS DONATES 28,000 VIDEOTAPES AND CD-ROMS TO 254 CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS!

For hospitalized children, traditional television programming has little to offer. Often, these children rely on television as a form of entertainment. "Children in our care have times that they are here without a family member or they feel too poorly to engage in other activities," says Cindy Williams, Director, Clinical Operations, Riley Children's Cancer Center. On December 11, volunteers from Fort Wayne, Indiana sorted, packed and shipped videotapes and CD-ROMs to 254 children's hospitals nationwide. This year for the first time, the hospitals that are members of the Children's Miracle Network have been included, thanks to the support of CQCM Board member John Herklotz and to Mardi Clemens, the Guardian Angel of Meg's Gifts.

Kudos to our Fort Wayne Volunteers who worked so hard under the guidance of Mardi and Dan Clemens to make this all possible: Rhonda Berghoff, Brendan and Sheryl Clemens, Kathryn Clemens, Paul Clemens, Phil Clemens, Grace and Brian Conway, William Cameron, John Cutter, Sandy Durly, Linda and Clyde Ford, Marcia and Jim Goheen, Amy Griffin, Carol and Jim Morton, Dan and Steven Motherwell, Barbara Ulmer, Sandy and Tod Wolfrum, and Michelle Young.

Speaking for our family and many others like us everywhere, we thank you for joining a project that celebrates life, love, courage, compassion and healing. You have become part of an incredible cast of heroes - unsung & invisible in most incidences, valiant in all. We are grateful to you and we commend your awareness of the intrinsic value of contributing your resources to our youngsters who need contact with the ‘outside' world. You have entered their dark world, filled with danger, fear and suffering bringing them messages of truth and beauty and light. For that you are good.

We thank you,

The Clemens Family

Thanks to those who donated products: Ablesoft, American Film Institution, B & D, Baby Einstein, The Baby School Co., Big Idea Productions, Children's Television Workshop, Digital Frog International, Fox Interactive, Garden House, Genius Products, Gizmo Gypsies, Golden Hour Productions, The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co., Kid Rhino, Kid Vidz, Linda Warwick Presents, Lyrick Studios, Minnesota Visual Entertainment Co., Paper Bag Players, Patch Products, Small Fry Entertainment, Stargate Pictures, Warner Brothers Publications and Sony

Last, a very special thank you goes out to our friends and colleagues at Fox Interactive. Fox donated more than 23,000 CD-ROMs to Meg's Gifts! Thanks to Eva Forberger and Evelyn Gray for their support. 


TOP 5 VIDEOS FOR 1999

According to our KIDS FIRST! evaluators, we are proud to announce the five top-rated titles for 1999.

 

*** BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE VOL. 4, I NEED A LITTLE HELP TODAY - Bear has a case of the sniffles, and he's taking some quiet time. Everyone is helping to make him feel better, and with all the help Bear will be back on his feet in no time. Adult Juror Comments: Characters are friendly and sincere. Plots are simple and well paced. Shows self-respect and compassion. Colorful production without being garish. Careful listening is required to develop language and problem-solving skills. Kid Juror Comments: Appealing. Humor perfectly suited to children's sensibilities. Variety of characters and expressive features make them attractive but not cutesy. "I could watch this every day." Video. 50 min.; $9.95; Age: 2-5. JIM HENSON COMPANY.

*** MAMA DO YOU LOVE ME? (DOORS OF WONDER).In a distant northern land, a little Inuit girl asks, "Mama, do you love me?" The answer makes for a charming tale about affection, adventure and wonder in this original and imaginative animated adaptation of the award-winning children's book. Adult Juror Comments: A lovely story about relationships that easily leads to discussions about Alaska, the Inuit people and family. Video expands on the theme of the book making it even more enjoyable. Excellent portrayal of Eskimos and their respect for animals. Kid Juror Comments: "It was great." "I want to know more about Alaska and sled dogs." "I thought about love and how I treat people." "Mother showed she really loved her daughter even when she was mad." Video. 30 min.; $12.98; Age: 3-8. SONY WONDER.

*** DEGAS AND THE DANCER (ARTISTS' SPECIAL SERIES).The 19th-Century French painter, Edgar Degas, paints to survive. Initially, he scorns painting dancers but gets caught up in a ballerina's life and becomes interested in a ballerina named Marie. They reveal their hopes and fears to one another. Adult Juror Comments: Worthwhile story, beautifully produced. Degas is shown as a self-centered old man whose art is more important than people. Marie's influence improves his behavior. Begs the question, "Does being a genius give you license to treat others badly?" Kid Juror Comments: "I learned about what it takes to be an artist." "I liked the way they all taught each other something. The painter taught her that if you don't make a mistake you'll never learn. She taught him not to be so grouchy and have respect for others." Video. 55 min.; $19.95; Age: 8-12. DEVINE ENTERTAINMENT CORP.

*** IRON GIANT, THE -Features an all-star cast, including Jennifer Aniston and Cloris Leachman. Tells the story of a young boy and a fifty-foot robot who discover the power of friendship and learn rewarding lessons. Adult Juror Comments: Heart-warming, feel-good, child-centered parable which delivers a message about anti-violence and hope. Military stereo-typing generated discussion. Excellent animation. Contains violence which is relevant to telling the story. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed the rural Maine setting; felt sorry for the Iron Giant. Some were glued to the screen. "Hogarth was afraid of the Iron Giant, but he saved him anyway." "It showed how to be friendly to someone who is different from you." Video. 86 min.; $22.95; Age: 8-12. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

*** OUR FRIEND MARTIN The remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., using modern animated characters who travel back in time and meet Dr. King at various points in his career. Approved by the King family. Adult Juror Comments: Excellent use of live-action historical footage mixed with animation. Traces his influence on American history. Graphic images depicting racist behavior is best viewed with adults. Stellar cast, voices of Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and others. Kid Juror Comments: Impressive. Many were not aware of the content. "This video taught us to respect other people, not hate each other because of color." "It taught me a lot of history, and it was sad." "I liked when they time-traveled." Video. 60 min.; $9.98; Age: 8-18. TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT.

These titles can be purchased online at Reel.com and are available for rent at your local video store. We encourage you ro check out the KIDS FIRST! section at Hollywood Video.


MEMBERSHIP NEWS

Some changes that CQCM has made to its membership services in 1999 include the launch of our online e-zine. The e-zine began in October and is sent out to all of our online members every two weeks. If you have not been receiving it, please subscribe below. Your subscription will begin with the next issue of the e-zine.

Our independent producer members can establish a link to their web site to sell any title that is not available from a major distributor for as little as a $200/year membership. For details, please email Lorilei at [email protected].

Click here to become a member

Through January 31, 2000 you may still take advantage of our Free book offer with your new or renewed family or individual membership. Please click here to purchase the book. You may now charge your membership on your VISA or MasterCard.


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT 

Karen Kurz-Riemer, author of the introduction to our parenting section of The New York Times/KIDS FIRST! Guide to the Best Children's Videos has recently finished a book. We recommend you check out "Infants, Toddlers, and Families: A Framework for Support and Intervention" by Martha Farrell Erickson and Karen Kurz-Riemer, New York: Guilford Press, 1999. It's written for practitioners in education, health, and social service areas who are working with or want to work with families of infants and toddlers. Kyle Pruett of Yale Child Study Center says: "The authors' warm, erudite voice is as robust and vital as their subject, exquisitely balancing our attentions between child and parent, context and relationship....The field is in desperate need of the passion and wisdom contained in this book."


WEBSITE NEWS:

We have made a number of changes and improvements in our web site this year. By the end of this year, images will be shown for 100% of the titles on our website that we have art for. We encourage producers and suppliers to check their titles on the site. If you do not see art for your title, it means that we are missing that and invite you to send either an electronic file or hard copy of your art as soon as possible.

Our web visitors now amount to approximately 300,000 hits/month. We are seeking sponsors for the web site. If your company is interested in sponsoring the site, please contact Ranny at [email protected] for stats and rates.


JUROR NEWS

Are you concerned about children? Are you troubled by the violence, and stereotypes associated with the media? Would you be interested in a program that involves children in the process of change? Consider becoming a juror for KIDS FIRST!'s nationally acclaimed community-based media evaluation program.

Here is how it works:

KIDS FIRST! uses professionally designed criteria, evaluation tools, and volunteer adults and children as jurors. An adult juror holds a degree in education, child development, library science, media or a related field. These jurors work together with a children's jury to complete a screening and evaluation of current videos, CD-ROMs and, starting this year - web sites.

The evaluation process itself produces an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to enhance their critical thinking skills, make a contribution and engage in creative expression. A child or young adult who is media literate can evaluate programming and content objectively, while encouraging them to explore the connections in his or her own life.

Currently we have a particularly strong need for adults who work with teens (ages 12-18) and for teen jurors. We have an ongoing need for jurors who can evaluate titles for children of all ages.

For more information, contact the Coalition for Quality Children's Media at (505) 989-8076 or email Suzanne at [email protected].

KIDS FIRST! will begin evaluating web sites next year. If you are interested in participating in our beta test program, please contact Mona at [email protected].

 

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