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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:

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Issue #5













Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
May 18, 2004 Issue #5
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
[email protected]


1. Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
2. New Endorsements
3. Media News
4. Family and Parenting News
5. Events
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with
complete attribution

Welcome to KIDS FIRST!« NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for
Quality Children's Media unless otherwise noted.

"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness
for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a
fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else."
--Chinese Proverb

Dear Friends,
We are trying something new this month. Since so much is happening in
the media world and at KIDS FIRST!«, we are going to try to send out
two newsletters a month instead of one bulky one. This will enable us
to share more reviews and keep more current on news and events. I hope
you like this change.


Have a wonderful month!

Christine Pollock, Editor

Dear Friends,

When Christine approached me about sending out bi-monthly newsletters
during this time when things are happening fast and furiously, I
agreed and I hope that you will too.

IÆve been reviewing new films to add to add to our summer, fall, and
winter festivals. This is the best part of my job here - well apart
from actually watching the kids enjoy the films. We have some SUPER
titles coming up that I hope many of you will have the opportunity to
watch such as Curious George Rides a Bike, Make Way for Ducklings,
Strega Nona, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - all
classic book-based films from the original Weston Woods collection,
re-released by Scholastic and New Video on DVD in anthologies with
other short titles. Paramount will be hosting Dora the Explorer: Super
Silly Fiesta and Rocket Power: Island of the Menehune from Nickelodeon
as well a Boohbah: Comfy Armchair, Cyberchase: ôTotally Rad,ö Caillou
At Play, plus Real Olympics from PBS. MGM Home Entertainment has added
Hi-5 to our summer tour along with a live tour with the Hi-5 Group.
Disney is offering up Mickey, Donald & Goofy in the Three Musketeers,
an all new movie, created in 2004 with a classic story with 2-D
animation. WeÆre delighted to welcome newcomer, Studioworks as a 2004
sponsor and a collection of titles in Spanish and English that
includes: Juanito Jones, Itty Bitty Heartbeats, Spooky House, The
Triplets Great Adventures, Tiny Planets, and Wheels on the Bus. From
Macedonia, we have several episodes from their award-winning
television series, Nashe Maalo produced by the Search for Common
Ground organization. New from Reading Rainbow is Our Big Home: An
Earth Poem and from Central Park Media, Grave of the Fireflies. Last,
we are featuring six new great independent titles including: Peace by
Peace: Women on the Frontlines, Ryan's Well, Sparrow Village,
ShoÆnuff: A NuÆAwlins Jazz Story, String of Little Pearls, and Her
Majesty. For program synopsis, please go to

Remember, itÆs not too late to schedule a KIDS FIRST! Film and Video
Festival in your city for 2004/05. To find out how to make it happen,
contact Ann Church, our KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival Marketing

Best wishes and love,

Ranny Levy

Video/DVD-Ages 2-5

** BABY EINSTEIN: BABY GALILEO. Take your child on a journey of sight
and sound with this captivating exposure to the magical world above.
Your little ones will take a musical voyage through the sky,
investigating the stars, the sun, clouds, planets and galaxies. Adult
Juror Comments: Visually entertaining. Vivid contrasts and colors,
good timing of segments. Great art, photography and music.
Conceptually beyond infants and toddlers. Overestimates infant verbal
skills, but good for preschoolers and older kids. Kid Juror Comments:
Strong visuals and bold music holds infant attention for a time, but
doesn't sustain their interest. DVD. 28 min.; $19.99; Age: 2-7. BUENA

* I GOTTA GO. Make potty training fun, easy, and successful. Master
the potty training process easily and with confidence. Pediatrician
approved and recommended. Adult Juror Comments: Helpful information on
a tricky topic. Provides a website and toll-free number to aid
parents. Catchy, repetitious music. Respectful of kids' bodies.
"Hottie for the Potty" lyrics borderline. "I question the songs'
effectiveness to potty train kids." Kid Juror Comments: Those in the
process of being potty trained seemed enthusiastic and responded
appropriately: "I have to go potty!" Older kids thought the idea of a
video about the potty was hilarious but soon got restless. Littlest
ones, not yet trained, wandered away. VideoDVD. 30 min.; $12.95; Age:

** LOOK OUT, CLIFFORD! AND BIG FUN IN THE. Clifford shows the gang
how to enjoy the summer in Big Fun in the Sun and how to make things
better in times of trouble in Look Out, Clifford. Adult Juror
Comments: Simple lessons and easy to follow stories. Deals with common
problems that children face from friendship to ethics such as lying.
When Cleo lies to her friends, she feels guilty, apologizes and is
forgiven. Helps kids figure out social interactions. Kid Juror
Comments: Loved it, even the 2-year-olds. "It's fun and Clifford has
good stories." "We saw all kinds of people and dogs." "The characters
are mostly nice to each other. They're friends." They identified with
lying and learned what they needed to do to be forgiven. DVD. 90 min.;

Video/DVD-Ages 5-8

** ELOISE AT THE PLAZA. Based on the best-selling children's classic,
brings one of literature's most beloved characters to life in a new
heartwarming and hilarious movie. Join New York City's most
adventurous six-year old in this charming new family feature. Adult
Juror Comments: Eloise, a precocious 6-year-old, lives a dream life
and is always up to something that makes you want to anticipate her
next move. Cute character doing things that kids dream of doing in a
large, fancy hotel. She is not always respectful to adults. Kid Juror
Comments: Funny. "Okay, my life isn't like Eloise's but I love that
she lives in a hotel, charges too much, and meets a prince." "I liked
the hotel and the New York scenery." "She is funny, spoiled, and has a
great life." DVD. 88 min.; $29.99; Age: 5-11. BUENA VISTA HOME

* GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2. The wild adventure and irresistible comedy
continues. George, his wife Ursula and George Jr. are living
peacefully in the jungle, but Ursula's scheming mother and ex-fianc
have other plans. Can George rescue his family and save Ape Mountain?
Adult Juror Comments: Cute story though this sequel pales in
comparison to the original. Good narration. Sarcastic humor is geared
more for adults than kids. Lacks diversity. Unsafe behavior -
extensive vine swinging and climbing tall buildings - though not
replicable. Kid Juror Comments: Loved it. "I liked the apes." "I liked
the jungle." Sang along to the theme song. "I could act this movie out
with my Barbies." None were interested in watching it again. VideoDVD.

** RECESS: ALL GROWED DOWN. For the first time on DVD and video,
discover how the gang met with a look back at your favorite Recess
kids as kindergartners. It's full of hilarious twists and turns,
lessons about meeting new friends and the very fun business of growing
up. Adult Juror Comments: Very fast moving. Unique characters, never a
dull moment. The students' sarcasm is transformed into appreciation.
Good models for conflict resolution. Some humor is at the expense of
overweight or geeky kids. Sometimes preachy. Kid Juror Comments: Kept
their interest. "I liked seeing how the different children figured out
how to get along. There were lots of problems for them to figure out."
"It shows kids with different colors of skin, different hair styles,
different clothes." Entertaining! VideoDVD. 61 min.; $19.99; Age: 6-8.
Video/DVD-Ages 8-12

** THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE. Lizzie, along with classmates, Gordo,
Kate, and Ethan, are celebrating with a graduation trip to Italy. In a
whirlwind of comic events, Lizzie is mistaken for Italy's biggest pop
diva, Isabella, and falls for Paolo, Isabella's handsome singing
partner. Adult Juror Comments: Enjoyable. A fun movie about a
teenager's gain in self confidence. Good mother-daughter movie. Scenes
of Rome most appealing. Lizzie's sneaking away from the group evokes
discussion as does put-downs like "outfit repeater." Depicts
friendship and loyalty. Kid Juror Comments: A hit. "I like Hillary
Duff." "No violence, slight put-downs that were fixed, and lame scenes
with Lizzie trying on dresses." Kids could relate to her lack of
confidence and her ruining graduation. Girls like the two girls
getting together at the end. VideoDVD. 94 min.; $29.99; Age: 10-13.

** MXP: MOST EXTREME PRIMATE Everyone's favorite sports playing
chip, Jack, is back. This time he hits the slopes to prove he's top
banana at the coolest winter sport around, snowboarding. Jack ans his
buddies also learn the importance of friendship and teamwork. Adult
Juror Comments: Fun for families, with a happy ending. Good animal
characters, upbeat music. No foul language or unsuitable behavior.
Good action/adventure flick but strains credibility and doesn't do
much to develop the characters. Kid Juror Comments: Really liked it,
especially the music. "I liked the people rolling on the snowball."
The snowboarding stunts at the end of the film were a big hit.
VideoDVD. 88 min.; $19.99; Age: 5-10. BUENA VISTA HOME

** RECESS: TAKING THE FIFTH GRADE. Only here can you see the final
chapter of the Recess series. The gang has graduated to the 5th grade,
and to make things worse, their teacher is the cantankerous Miss
Finster. Adult Juror Comments: Great stories that kids can relate to
about real issues - bullies, mean teachers, a weak principal, etc.
High quality production and writing. Doesn't talk down to the kids.
Good multiracial mix of kids. Kid Juror Comments: Fun! Cool and funny.
"We know exactly what it is like to have a mean teacher. We know what
it is like to have terrible food in the cafeteria." "We learned about
how kids can get adults to listen and how to treat each other on the
playground. VideoDVD. 62 min.; $19.99; Age: 6-12. BUENA VISTA HOME

Video/DVD-Ages 12+

through the process of finding the right camera, operating and caring
for the camera, getting quality images, using camera movement, and
telling a story through camera placement. Adult Juror Comments:
Excellent photography resource. Mix of basic and highly technical
information gives kids room to grow as their skills and comprehension
advance. Well organized. Good use of DVD format. "Makes you want to
dust off your camera and start shooting." Kid Juror Comments:
Especially appealing to 13-year-olds. "It shows you how to be
creative." "It teaches you how to make your videos into something
cool." "Maybe now my parents will let me use their camera." "I would
watch it again if I was going to make a video." DVD. 25 min.; $29.95;

****************************************************New Title for the
KIDS FIRST!« Film Festival
We are pleased to add the title ôNaashe Maaloö to our Summer Film
Festival repertoire. In Macedonia, about 75% of the children seek
escape and comfort from the violence of their world by watching this
show. More information can be found at: Naashe Maalo.

Fall Colors 2003-04: Prime Time Diversity Report
Children Now's "Fall Colors" report provides an overview of racial and
gender diversity in the current prime-time season and includes a
five-year comparative analysis on the major networks' progress. This
year's report received widespread news coverage, including stories in
the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Broadcasting and Cable,
Variety and on National Public Radio.

Leaving Politics and Turning to Cable
Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have formed INdTV Holdings LLC in order to
acquire Newsworld International. They plan to rename the cable station
and gear the programming to a 18-34-year old audience. This
independent station plans to speak to the viewers in their own voice,
teaching them about their world in genres ranging from documentaries
to comedy. More information at:

Gore Supports ôThe Day After Tomorrowö
The upcoming movie starring Dennis Quaid is fiction based on truth. A
truth that Al Gore thinks the public should be aware of.

Fun Ways To Learn About Memorial Day
From Math sheets to games celebrating the history of the holiday,
take your child online and discover what Memorial Day is all about.
Check out Memorial Day Activities .

A wonderful friend of KIDS FIRST!, Shalom (Sholly) FischÆs latest
academic book on educational television is hot off the press from
social sciences publisher Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ôChildrenÆs
Learning from Educational Television: Sesame Street and Beyondö pulls
together over 30 years of research documenting kidsÆ learning from
numerous TV series. Information on the book can be found at:

Shrek 2 Opening Earlier Than Expected
Before you catch the movie on May 19, tune in to the evening edition
of NickelodeonÆs ôU Pick Liveö on May 18. The 5-7 p.m. show will run
Shrek 2 themes, including interviews with Mike Myers and Cameron Dias.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, there will be a snippet of the
upcoming movie at 7 p .m.

From Connect for Kids:

Poor Readers Can Improve Brain Function
Teaching 6- to 9-year-old struggling readers to connect sounds and
letters can make a lasting impact on brain function, according to
research published in Biological Psychiatry and reported on NPR by
Rachel Jones. The researchers say for children with learning
disabilities the use of an evidence-based phonologic reading
intervention facilitates the development of those fast-paced neural
systems that underlie skilled reading. .

Every Picture Tells Your Story
For the young photographers in Lynne Bernay-Roman's classes,
image-making becomes an inward voyage of discoveryùone their teachers
say helps them be more successful in school. Letitia Monaco looks at
how Bernay-Roman's Finding Focus Through Photography curriculum is
working in some Palm Beach County schools. For more information, read

KIDS FIRST!« Film Festival Touring Schedule:
June 4 - 6: Explora! Science and Children's Museum, Albuquerque, NM
June 4: Salt Lake ChildrenÆs Film Festival (in partnership with the
ChildrenÆs Justice Center), Salt Lake City, UT
June 4: Rural Media Arts and Education Project, Mariposa, CA
June 16 - 20: Kidflix, Tampa, FL

KIDS FIRST!« Film Club Program Schedule:
June 4: The Coolidge Theater with the Boston ChildrenÆs Museum, Boston, MA
June 4: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Monthly through February, 2005: Denver Film Society, Denver, CO
Monthly through May, 2005: Community Cinema, Houston, TX
Monthly through September 20: Children's Museum of Richmond, Richmond, VA

Other Events:
May 20: Girl Talk at the Pixie Sage Center on Long Island, NY, for
11-and 12-year-old girls who want to join peers in discussions about
growing up. Topics range from anger to body image and friendships.
Girl Talk meets the last Saturday of every month from 4-5:30 p.m. For
more information, contact Kitty Gill at 631-757-1013.

June 25û28: AMLAÆs 2005 National Media Education Conference. ôGiving
Voice to a Diverse Nation.ö A Major feature of NMEC 2005 will be a
media arts strand, focusing on the efficacy of media literacy and
media arts on student achievement. Please contact either Karen Zill,
Conference Chair, at [email protected], or Kara Clayton at
[email protected]

June 28-July 3: Through Her Eyes: Women of Color Film Festival 2004 in
New York City. Information at or call

July 5 û22: At the Pixie Sage Center on Long Island, NY, for sixth to
eighth-graders. Work with professional songwriters to create an
original CD and more. The first session is July 5-22 and the second
session is August 2-26th. For more information, contact Kitty Gill at

October 14-16: Ryerson University, Toronto. The Fourth
Interdisciplinary Conference on The Evolution of World Order addresses
high-priority global issues. More details at

October 21-22: KIDS FIRST!« Fall Meeting
We're inviting the CQCM Board, Trustees, Members and Sponsors to
attend this meeting. WeÆd like to invite you to share your expertise
with this high-level audience. We're seeking session proposals that
describe industry trends and issues in-depth, describe up-to-date
research in childrenÆs media, and successful strategies for fulfilling
the mission of the CQCM.

The first morning will be dedicated to reviewing the successes and
failures of the previous two years and our plans for the upcoming
year. The first afternoon will examine unique and current information
that help broaden our knowledge of this industry as it applies to KIDS
FIRST!«. The second morning we are seeking presentations about
specific products from independent producers or studios that CQCM
should be aware of. The second afternoon, we will split into three
groups for informal discussions while exploring some of the cultural
and outdoor activities available in Santa Fe. Then, we will convene
for a plenary session analyzing the new ideas and directions discussed
previously. All sessions will be highly interactive, and speakers
should offer presentations designed to engage attendees. For more



Become a Coalition for Quality Children's Media Member *** If you've
found our e-zine and web site helpful, please consider becoming a
member of KIDS FIRST!« Members help underwrite the various projects of
this organization and are a critical component of our success. 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 is $200;
Corporate membership $1,000-$10,000/year. For more information, visit
our website or
contact our office for an application form, 505.989.8076.

VISIT OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************"





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Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media,

**************ABOUT CQCM AND KIDS FIRST!« ***************

KIDS FIRST!« is the not-for-profit Coalition for Quality Children's
Media's initiative that evaluates and rates children's media
-videotapes, CD-ROMs, and television - using a highly acclaimed method
that has been praised by parents and educators alike. It utilizes
professionally designed criteria and evaluation tools and engages a
volunteer jury comprising child development professionals, teachers
and parents nationwide and children of diverse geographic,
socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. KIDS FIRST!« endorsed titles
appeal to people around the world and include many programs on topics
important to children's development. KIDS FIRST!«-endorsed titles are
available on CQCM's award-winning Internet site, in the KIDS FIRST!
Film and Video Festival, and in reviews we provide to more than 75

CQCM evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM,
DVDs, and audio recordings.

KIDS FIRST! is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media
112 West San Francisco Street, Suite 305A
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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