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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time

CQCM Newsletter Archive:

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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
June 1, 2004 Issue #6
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
[email protected]

1. Letter from the Editor
Letter from the President
Reader's Comments
2. New Endorsements
3. Member News
4. Media News
5. Family and Parenting News
6. Film Festivals in Denver by Christine L. Pollock
7. Quality Media for Kids by Ranny Levy
8. 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.

"Our rewards in life will always be in exact proportion to our service." Earl Nightingale

Dear Friends,

Can you believe we are almost halfway through the year? I feel as if I was just in the bitter cold of New York City for the opening of this year's film festivals at Scholastic's downtown facilities and now the sun is shining, the river is beckoning us to swim, and our film festivals are swinging like crazy.

With the exciting growth of KIDS FIRST!®, we are now offering Juror training online. If you, or someone you know is interested in becoming a KIDS FIRST!® Juror, now's a great time to get started. There is a minimal $40 fee for the training which is refundable after you have been active as a Juror for only six months. Your training fee of $40 will be reimbursed in full. This is a wonderful way for teachers, librarians, parents and others involved with children to help KIDS FIRST! review media while building a quality media library for themselves free of charge. To register or get more information, please visit: htttp://


Have a wonderful month!

Christine Pollock, Editor
Dear Readers,

June reminds me that life is like a garden - a little yum-yum mix in the soil keeps everything fed and healthy. I discovered yum-yum mix a few years ago. It's an all purpose fertilizer and natural, organic soil conditioner that feeds the soil which keeps your plants healthy.

Quality media is like yum yum mix. When we feed our children's minds with healthy media, they turn out that much healthier. This is what keeps me inspired at KIDS FIRST!

I've often been asked to provide a similar service for adults that KIDS FIRST! does for kids. I don't need to do that because another group has done basically the same thing. The Spiritual Cinema Circle, which we're affiliated with, along with a number of people such as Jean Houston, Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, and Kenny Loggins have created a "DVD of the Month Club" that features films with a positive messages. For more information, visit

I hope your month is full of wonder, warmth and posies!


Ranny Levy

Reader Comments
We greatly appreciate all the help and support we have been receiving from the Kid's First team. I think you are a godsend to independent producers.
Thank you-- Sandy Watson--I Wrote That!

Video/DVD-Ages 0-2
** BABY ROAD TRIP JUNGLE. Musically themed journey through the jungle. Focuses on the wonder of color and features melodic sounds of the wild as well as safari symphonies. Adult Juror Comments: Sweet and polished. Energetic blend of classical children's tunes and jungle music. Provocative. Alternates real animals with toys. Socio-dramatic play for older preschoolers. Concepts are presented slowly and clearly. "Good gift for new parents." Kid Juror Comments: Happily sat through the entire video, moving and dancing to the music. Older kids shouted out the displayed words. Younger ones called to the adults, pointing to the video saying, "See? See?" Many acted out animal play afterwards. DVD. 30 min.; $17.99; Age: 1-4. BABY ROAD TRIP.

Video/DVD-Ages 2-5
** PLAYGROUP FAVORITES. For over 30 years, millions of parents have attended parent/child playgroups to enjoy special time together and enrich their children's development. Mommy and Me helps to recreate this interactive together time experience right in your own home. Adult Juror Comments: Really cute music video with recognizable songs, option for words at bottom of the screen. Great role models of parents and kids interacting. Adorable animated characters with a mommy and baby kangaroo introduce each song. Kid Juror Comments: Loved the singing and dancing. All of the kids watched it intently. "I like the babies and the music-especially the extra verses." "It shows mommies and daddies having fun with their children." DVD. 32 min.; $19.98; Age: 2-4. Mommy & Me.

** REAL WHEELS: THERE GOES A RESCUE HERO. Join Dave on the job with real-life firemen, paramedics, rescue workers, and a rescue dog. Go along on this fun-filled adventure to learn all about Rescue Heroes. Adult Juror Comments: Examines the life and stories of firefighters and police. Some stories are too long, some are condescending, most are interesting, and show the diverse jobs of rescue heroes. Dave's slapstick, and sometimes unsafe behavior is unappreciated by adults. Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it. "It was funny. We liked the funny guy who tries to fit in." "We learned a lot about rescues. They were goofy but fun to watch." "It shows that both girls and boys can be rescue heroes." "The sound was not great and it's a little slow at times." DVD. 30 min.; $9.95; Age: 3-8. POWER.

** YOGA KIDS 3: SILLY TO CALM. Kids learn to move their bodies in ways that mimic the world around them, and as a result their bodies are taken from a high energy level to a relaxing, calming level. Adult Juror Comments: Incredibly soothing, fun way to introduce kids to yoga and become aware of how they can control their bodies and their moods. The postures are explained well. Teaches kids about their body parts-breastbone, ribs, calves, ankles. Kid Juror Comments: liked it. "I liked pretending I was a tree or an animal." "The lady in the video was nice." "My friends like to exercise and breathe in and out." We learned the word for peace-‘shanti'." Video/DVD. 34 min.; $14.98; Age: 3-7. GAIAM, INC.

Video/DVD-Ages 5-8
** FLO THE LYIN' FLY. A moral lesson of an adorable hot pink fly that has a problem telling the truth. In the end, Flo learns honesty is the best policy. Voices by Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway and Don Knotts. Adult Juror Comments: Christian message in cute, sophisticated packaging. Topnotch animation and audio. Practical stories effectively make a point. Strongly biblical and moral. Concert references and swooning fans might be lost on younger viewers. "Good for Sunday school." Kid Juror Comments: Found the message worthy and the presentation watch able and amusing. "It's funny and it teaches you good stuff, like not to lie." "I relate because I have a friend who lies." "I don't know if my friends who aren't Christians would like it." "Good music." DVD. 60 min.; $17.99; Age: 3-8. ALDAY COMMUNICATIONS.

** FOOD SAFARI BREAKFAST. Fly with Chef Beary-Good and Sprinkle as they gather groceries by hot air balloon for their big breakfast party. Discover how wheat fields turn into cereal, how maple syrup is tapped and much more. Adult Juror Comments: Cute video that makes dry information interesting. Shows healthy food presented in a fun way. Good background music and beautiful outdoor shots. Keeps its goal of teaching nutrition: "Would be a wonderful supplement to a nutrition curriculum." Kid Juror Comments: Enjoyed it, speculating on what the machines were going to do, naming the foods, and participating in the letter games. "I learned syrup comes from trees." "I liked the teddies." "I liked the dancing oranges. It's a happening dance." "Yummy food." VideoDVD. 29 min.; $14.99; Age: 2-8. YUM YUM STUDIOS TO CREATE.

** FOOD SAFARI LUNCH. Laugh with Chef Beary Good as he meets adventure in the forest while Sprinkles shows us how bread, peanut butter, apple juice, cheese, and baby carrots are grown and processed for their fabulous picnic lunch. Adult Juror Comments: Fascinating, educational, and entertaining. Good humor and appealing characters. Soundtrack perfectly matches visuals and has a variety of music and silly sound effects. Great viewing for parents as well as kids. Good curriculum enhancement for age group. Kid Juror Comments: Thoroughly enjoyed themselves, bopping to the music, laughing and asking questions. "I couldn't hear because everyone was laughing so much!" "It was so funny. It made me hungry." "The carrots took a shower." "Can we have apples?" "Can we watch it again?" VideoDVD. 29 min.; $14.99; Age: 2-8. YUM YUM STUDIOS.

Video/DVD-Ages 8-12
** RESCUE HEROES: THE MOVIE. Starring the ever-popular Billy Blazes and Wendy Waters' as an elite team of rescue personnel who combine their individual strengths to respond to emergencies around the world, the movie shares positive life lessons about teamwork. Adult Juror Comments: Good concept - superheroes without physical violence. At times, confusing situations and words. Also a bit long. The natural disasters and decisions made are best understood by older kids. Good talking points-like seatbelts. Good role models. Kid Juror Comments: Awesome. Cool. "It's unrealistic but it is a cartoon." "I loved the earthquake rescue." "I love their gadgets and the fast truck." "They are always there for each other." "I was wondering, don't volcanoes have toxic fumes? Why is an avalanche dangerous?" DVD. 74 min.; $19.98; Age: 4-12. LIONS GATE FAMILY HOME.

** SO LITTLE TIME - VOLUME 3: ABOUT A FAMILY. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Watch as teens Riley and Chloe Carlson (Mary Kate and Ashley) juggle high school and their social lives while struggling to keep peace in their unconventional beach side family. Adult Juror Comments: Entertainment for pre-teens. Well produced vehicle for the beloved twins. Includes some marginal material: a dominatrix appearance, gender confusion and one character is the butt of jokes. "Personal conversation directed to audience is a nice touch." Kid Juror Comments: Big hit with girls. "I've always liked the twins. They wear cute clothes and go to high school." "They have a man maid, that's different. He talks funny." "Larry the lobster boy was so funny-looking. Everyone was mean to him. I felt sorry for him." DVD. 132 min.; $19.98; Age: 8-12. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

** SO LITTLE TIME - VOLUME 4: HANGIN' OUT. When the school bell rings at 3 o'clock, the lessons are just beginning. Join Riley and Chloe Carlson (Mary Kate and Ashley) after school as they test their skills at odd jobs. What will happen? Adult Juror Comments: Appealing for pre-teen girls. Good production- DVD structure and style make storyline easy to follow. Suggests alternatives to after-school education. Borderline social interactions. "Unsuitable for audiences under eight years." Kid Juror Comments: Girls liked it much more than boys. "It was good. It was funny. I always like Mary Kate and Ashley." "Mary Kate and Ashley have differences but they are still twins and they work things out." "I could take a break from watching and not miss anything." DVD. 132 min.; $19.98; Age: 8-12. WARNER HOME VIDEO.

Audio 12-18
*** POWER NAP KIT. A teen stress book and a power nap poster educate adolescents on the value of sleep and how to "power nap" to boost energy and improve alertness. A no-pill answer to reduce stress. Adult Juror Comments: Very thorough and well researched. Careful descriptions, well timed to good music. Handsome packaging includes booklet with intelligent content. Perfect addition to a study skills curriculum. "Offers a remedy for stressed and sleep-deprived teens." Kid Juror Comments: Older students understood it best. "Treats us like adults, with respect." "I guess someone is thinking about how stressed out we are over all the work we have to do. That's good." "I want to get better at losing stress." "Helps relax me." "It's peaceful." Audio. min.; $39.95; Age: 14-18. AT PEACE MEDIA.

IWT Productions is currently seeking distribution for it's I Wrote That! titles. If interested, please contact Sandy Watson at [email protected] or 323-953-9525.

Just Play Games is joining up with KIDS FIRST!® and kicking off a nationwide festival of films, entertainment, music, play events, and game tournaments in sixteen major U.S. cities at Mills malls. These events, taking place from Mid-July through October, will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Touring schedule is listed below in the events section of this newsletter.

At Peace Media LLC
Discover award-winning music, video, DVD and multi-media instructional products created to make your life healthier and more fulfilling.

B.O.B. Productions
Producer of children's products for babies to early readers featuring Beobi the Baby Monkey

DVD International

Silly Sally Productions LLC
Silly Sally Productions generates creative and quality products that educate and entertain children.

Just Play Games Festival

StudioWorks-Major Festival Sponsor

The Disney Channel Expands into Mexico
PCTV, the largest cable TV provider in Mexico, will air the Disney Channel as part of their basic cable package in June. More information at: Disney in Mexico.

New Vice President of Marketing at Big Idea, Inc.
Greg Fritz, the new VP of the best-selling "Veggie Tales" series says, "There is no name more meaningful to kids within the CBA than "Veggie tales." It is a privilege to help continue to expand this great heritage."

Music Technology in the Public School
A multi-cultural, average-income school in Bay Shore, NY, has been rated as one of the top one hundred music programs in the country three years in a row--largely due to its use of technology. Students enjoy composing music with special computer programs. For more information, click on Music Technology.

Youngest Winner for Cannes Award
Yuya Yagira, a fourteen-year-old student from Japan, is the youngest person ever to win the prestigious "Best Actor" award at Cannes for his role in "Nobody Knows."

Shalom (Sholly) Fisch's latest academic book on educational television is hot off the press from social science's publisher Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. "Children's Learning from Educational Television: Sesame Street and Beyond" pulls together over 30 years of research documenting kids' learning from numerous TV series. Information on the book can be found at:

Protecting Our Kids in a Digital World
As digital television becomes more prevalent, our children are exposed to more interactive advertising. Children Now is hosting "Digital Television: Sharpening the Focus on Children," in Washington, D.C. on June 9, 2004, to address issues such as educational television, interactive advertising, and tools for parents. This event is co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association.

Segregation in Television
Why is it that Latinos are rarely portrayed in media and that most black sitcoms are on newer stations? Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston and Faculty Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School delves into the history of ethnicity in the world of television.,1120,67-21679,00.html

Family Film Club in Denver
by Christine L. Pollock

The Best Movies for Kids award goes to...the Denver Film Society for their Kids Movie Saturdays! This prestigious award from the Westword newspaper in Denver, Colorado hails the fun-filled Saturdays at the Starz FilmCenter as "a beacon in the darkness." And a beacon it is. Now families in the Denver area can go out for an affordable day of age-appropriate entertainment each weekend with movies supplied by KIDS FIRST!®.

From "Ice Age" in Spanish, to biographical films about Leonardo Da Vinci, to an animated story about Noah's Ark, there is something for everyone. Many people who go to one film end up coming back for more. In the sixteen weeks this film Club has been running, audiences of up to 150 per showing have quickly shown how well received the KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Club is by Denver Families.

"It is an exciting, wonderful program!" exclaims Hedy Margolis from an arts and cultural ticket center for at-risk youth called Artreach, outreach partner of Denver Film Society. Comments from their attendees include:

"We had a terrific time at the (Starz FilmCenter). Miss Nelson and Dora were fun, especially while eating popcorn. Thanks." -Kellogg Family

"Thank you for the opportunity to see the children's film series. We really enjoyed the show. We haven't seen anything like it on TV or video." -Lanes Family

"Pete's a Pizza" was a special favorite with movie-goers. The story even became an interactive family event as Jennifer Youell writes, "It's fun for all of us to see the book in action."

The Kids Movie Saturdays took off when Xcel Energy Foundation, a sponsor of the Denver Film Society, wanted to provide kid-proof and family-friendly film fare in the Denver area. Realizing that no-one else was doing this on a regular basis and knowing that KIDS FIRST!® had a package ready-made for film clubs, the Denver Film Society partnered with KIDS FIRST!® to create the Kids Movies Saturday programming.

Mark Stutz, spokesperson from the Xcel Energy Foundation, thinks the program is great for his children and other families working for the Xcel Energy Foundation. With the company's strong commitment to the arts, they are proud to support this film club with its educational films and programming appropriate for children of all ages.

Other sponsors include: Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), HealthONE, and Janus Funds. For movie times and titles, call the theater at (303) 820-FILM, check the listings in the Denver newspapers
or visit their website:

How to Have a Successful KIDS FIRST! Film Club:

Eric Beteille, spokes man for the Denver Film Society, says that although they are lucky to have one theater at Starz FilmCenter dedicated to Kids Movie Saturdays, "a successful program needn't entail such an elaborate movie-theater scheme. Really, a good DVD projector, a big blank wall and a flat seating area should do it."

To start a successful Kids Film program, Eric suggests the following:
1) Tap into KIDS FIRST! programming. That's a no-brainier because of the KIDS FIRST!® sheer breadth of expertise and programming.

2) Solicit a locally-based, community-minded corporate sponsor to help cover costs in exchange for exposure to this new audience; chances are no one else in town is offering this type of programming, so your event and your venue will create a unique outreach opportunity.

3) Enlist the assistance of a local organization that reaches out to at-risk youth and families as a way of exposing them to family films with quality high above the fare on most network and cable TV channels.

4) Make goodie bags. For younger film fans, ages 2 to 5, we provide small bags with crayons and coloring sheets based on the program. It works especially well when we show episodes of Dora the Explorer and Blue's Clues.

Quality Media for Kids
by Ranny Levy
from Cable in the Classroom-Access Learning June 2004:

I often listen to parents' and teachers' complaints about the current state of television programming. It's true that, in our post-Superbowl 2004 media environment, walking the bridge between government intervention and freedom of speech has raised new concerns about programs shown during what we used to call "family hours." However, as an opponent of censorship, I'm always quick to point out that there are more tasteful programs than ever available on TV—thanks, in large part, to cable programmers. Through our KIDS FIRST! initiative, we at the Coalition for Quality Children's Media pay close attention to what's appropriate for different age groups and which programs are supported and enhanced by Web sites. The following are just some of the outstanding cable programs airing this summer that KIDS FIRST! recommends for kids—from preschoolers to high-schoolers. Full article at: Quality Media For Kids.

KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival Touring Schedule:
June 4-6: Explora! Science and Children's Museum, Albuquerque, NM
June 4: Rural Media Arts and Education Project, Mariposa, CA
June 16-20: Kidflix, Tampa, FL

KIDS FIRST Mall Tour-Just Play Games
July 10-11: Block at Orange Mall, Anaheim, CA
July 14-15: Colorado Mills Mall, Denver, CO
July 17-18: St. Louis Mills Mall, St. Louis, MO
July 21-22: Gurnee Mills Mall,Chicago, IL
July 24-25: Cincinnati Mills Mall, Cincinnati, OH
July 28-29: Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, PA
July 31-August 1: Arundel Mills Mall, Baltimore, MD
August 7-8: Potomac Mills Mall, Washington, D.C.
August 14-15: Concord Mills Mall, Charlotte, NC
August 21-22: Discover Mills Mall, Atlanta GA
August 28-29: Sawgrass Mills Mall, Ft. Lauderdale-Miami, FL
September 18-19: The Esplanade, New Orleans, LA
September 25-26: Katy Mills Mall, Houston, TX
October 2-3: Grapevine Mills Mall, Dallas, TX
October 9-10: Arizona Mills Mall, Phoenix, AZ
October 16-17: Ontario Mills Mall, Los Angeles, CA

KIDS FIRST!® Film Club Program Schedule:
February 7 - February 7, 2005: Denver Film Society, Denver, CO (monthly)
February 16-May 21: Community Cinema, Houston, TX
March 20 - September 20: Children's Museum of Richmond, Richmond, VA (monthly)
June 4: Tim Nelson's Group (Partnership with a Kid's Fair), Salt Lake City, UT (monthly)
June 4-6: Explora! Science and Children's Museum, Albuquerque, NM (monthly)
June 4: The Coolidge Theater with the Boston Children's Museum, Boston, MA
June 4: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
June 16-20: Kidflix, Tampa, FL (monthly)

Other Events:
June 5: Animation Clinic. The Coolidge Corner Theater will be introducing KIDS FIRST!® at their animation clinic at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline (Boston) at 11 a.m. This is part of their animation clinic that is in conjunction with the Brattle Theater June 4-6.

June 9: Digital Television: Sharpening the Focus on Children. Washington, D.C. For information call Sarah Grossman-Swenson at 510-763-2444 or email [email protected] or contact Kevin Donegan at 510-763-2444 or email [email protected]

June 25–28: AMLA's 2005 National Media Education Conference. "Giving Voice to a Diverse Nation." 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 212-501-3842.

July 5 –22: 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 631-757-1013.

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. We'd 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 children's 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 helps 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 information, contact



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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**************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 publications.

CQCM evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs, and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines, visit our website at, call our office (505.989.8076)

Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St., Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

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