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The Newsstand - What's Hot!


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The Newsstand - What's Hot

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
"In golf, as in life, it is the follow through that makes the difference."


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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
January 4, 2005 Issue #1
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
[email protected]

1. Letter from the Editor
Letter from the President
Notes From Our Readers
2. Highlighted Store Titles
3. New Endorsements
4. Festival Titles
5. Member News
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Media News
8. Family and Parenting News
9. Liz Thoman and Media Literacy by Christine L. Pollock
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.



Junior Film Critics interviewing Morgan Freeman at the 27th Starz Denver International Film Festival.


The Coalition for Quality Children's Media is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Because we believe that media profoundly affect children, our mission is to 1) teach children critical viewing skills and 2) to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's programs.



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

"I'd just like to be remembered for being a compassionate human being who happened to be fortunate enough to be born at a time when there was a fabulous thing called television." - Fred Rogers

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are excited about facing the challenges of 2005.

The horrific circumstances in southeast Asia give me a new perspective on life. As my thoughts and prayers center on people overseas, I have a greater appreciation for the blessings we have at home.

Our family celebrated a wonderful Christmas at home which began with a Veggie Tale video-thon on Christmas Eve. We received three of these titles to review for KIDS FIRST!® and my kids (along with eight other neighborhood children) thought Christmas had come early. What a great way to kick off the holidays.

This month I also had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth Thoman, a pioneer in the field of media literacy and founder of the Center for Media Literacy. She is an amazing woman -- read below to find what she has to say

As we were busy here in Western NY with our interview and reviews, Ranny, Ann, and Michelle were up to their usual busy-ness in Santa Fe as you'll see in the fantastic line-up of titles for our upcoming 2005 KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festivals. For details, visit

If you have comments on titles we have endorsed; notices of awards, publications, and products; or suggestions for articles...please drop me at line at

Have a wonderful month!
Christine Pollock, Editor

Dear Readers,

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

It is heartbreaking to learn of the disaster in South Asia and East Africa. All of us at KIDS FIRST! send our thoughts and prayers to those who are suffering. The American Red Cross offers one of the best vehicles of support of relief efforts in the affected countries. You can donate by calling 1-800-HELP NOW, 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or donate online at

This has been an extraordinary year! Not only did our Film Festival take off like a rocket but, thanks to your enthusiastic participation, we launched our KIDS FIRST! online store. These two programs represent a tangible way to make KIDS FIRST! - endorsed programming more available to you. Thanks to all our readers and supporters for helping make this happen.

To all the people who have made such incredible contributions to our successful year, I offer my heartfelt thanks. Former CQCM board member, Ann Church became our senior vice president of marketing this year and it is due to her tenacity and innovativeness that our festivals have grown like they have. Ann’s genius has responded to your needs to create customized programs that serve children’s museums, non-profit film centers, libraries and similar groups. If you want to bring the festival to your city, to learn how.

Thanks to our newsletter team for a job well done. Our editor, Chris Pollock has completed her first, and undoubtedly most difficult year to many accolades. Copy editor, Deborah Cool has made her usual commendable contribution. Samsunshine, aka Netman - you’re the Best! His contributions certainly don’t stop with our newsletter. Sam is our webmaster, computer guru and technology wiz!

Our jury staff and jury volunteers have performed in a sterling way, led by Michelle Roybal, our jury coordinator. Many thanks to all of our jurors who work year round to evaluate and rate children’s programming.

A huge thanks go to our new KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival sponsors: Universal Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Comical Sense Co., and Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment join our annual sponsors, Paramount Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment, Studioworks and Buena Vista (Disney) Home Entertainment. Please visit our film festival area of our website to examine the exciting line-up that we have for the first quarter of 2005.

I seem to have worked longer hours this year than ever before but with so many exciting things happening, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m not complaining. I’m thrilled to be this busy. Since our festivals expanded to year-round events, we're programming year round and publishing a new program every quarter. Kudos to our graphic designer, Mic Duggan who's able to flow with all the changes even as we close in on our deadlines.

Thanks and congratulations to all the producers who support KIDS FIRST! and submit their work for Festival consideration and endorsement. I know how difficult it is for independent producers to get your films and videos produced, shown at Festivals, and to find distribution. We hope to add to your sales and publicity by including your work in our programs. I know, from our readers’ and audiences' feedback how much they relish discovering your work.

You have demonstrated to us how much you are enjoying what we have to offer. KIDS FIRST! offers you the opportunity to open your child's window to the world by telling you about and showing at our festivals quality videos that educate, inspire, and entertain. You will find festivals in more than 20 cities during this first quarter. An updated list is available on our website on our festival pages. Do write us and let us know about your experience.

Much love and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Ranny Levy


"I have been a fan of your newsletter since its introduction and always find the content enlightening." -Tony Findlay Partner - Project Manager of Children's Digital Media Games Division, Big Red Frog


Correction: The information on "The Night Before Christmas And More Christmas Stories" in the December issue was inaccurate. Here is the correct information:

***THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND MORE CHRISTMAS STORIES Wonderful anthology of warm-hearted holiday favorites each with a family theme. Narrated by popular actors. Simple and easy to understand for young children. Vocabulary is age-appropriate. Easily viewed in segments.

***THE SNOW QUEEN-STORIES TO REMEMBER-Video and DVD. Powerful tale follows a young girl's quest to rescue her playmate from the icy palace of the Snow Queen. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson folktale. Narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Music by Jason Miles.

***IS YOUR MAMA A LLAMA? AND MORE STORIES ABOUT GROWING UP-DVD. Carefully adapted stories about growing up based on classic children's books by Deborah Guarino, Robert Kraus, Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen and Molly Bang. Narration by Amy Madigan, Mary Beth Hurt and Laura Dern. Anthology of stories using repetition and rhyme in their delivery. Good tool for language development.

***AN ECLIPSE: THE DAY THE SKY WENT DARK-Video. A sudden solar eclipse on planet Zula drains the Patrol's energy, and peace is threatened by the villain Dark Truder and his talking toupee. Imaginative, humorous and entertaining. Excellent graphics and bright color. Kids wanted to watch repeatedly.


Video/DVD-Ages 0-2
** LAUGH TOGETHER (Make Baby Laugh).The second in the Make Baby Laugh award winning series, provides parents with great ideas for inspiring laughter in their children and at the same time keep those little ones giggling. Adult Juror Comments: Simple fun. Different styles of music are the best feature. Clear images and really good animation. Very fast moving -almost too much at times for youngest kids. An occasional cartoon pulls the title together as a fun loving show. Great interaction between parent and child; racially diverse. Kid Juror Comments: Little ones especially liked the music, rocking and dancing to it. Some were very excited and copied the actions. Silly grown-up behavior made them laugh. Older kids thought the little babies were cute. They watched and laughed and would wander off. Some found the furry monster disconcerting. DVD. 75 min.; $17.95; Age: 1-3. THE MAKE BABY LAUGH COMPANY.

*** PLAY ALONG WITH ME. An innovative program which includes DVDs, CDs and toys all integrated to uniquely develop cognitive, social, motor and language skills while modeling positive parent and child interaction. Adult Juror Comments: Extraordinary. A dream for parents, grandparents, babysitters and young childhood programs. An exceptional tool, especially for new parents. Demystifies educational play and emotional bonding procedures without using clinical or technical language. "By far the best such tool I know of." Kid Juror Comments: Kept them glued to the screen. They loved getting out the toys to play along with the DVD. The game where they learned about sharing was a favorite. One four-year-old asked to watch all the shows right in a row. All the children asked to see more when it was over and listened to the CD throughout the day. DVD. 30 min.; $169.95; Age: 0-3. NURTURE BASICS.

Video/DVD-Ages 2-8
*** LETTER FACTORY. Teaches children letters, phonics and listening skills as they follow Leap, Lily and Tad on a wild adventure to the letter factory, where newly made letters are learning to pronounce their sounds. Adult Juror Comments: Brilliant. Very creative. Careful script, perfect for the emerging reader. Music is varied in style and tempo. Mom, dad, and siblings work together and look after each other. Superb animation, like happy letters and cozy classrooms. Little additions like the jokes are appealing. "One of the best." Kid Juror Comments: Really got them excited about the sounds of letters. They talked about it for days afterwards. "The W was cool. The G was gooey. The K was kicking-'' with a karate kick for emphasis. "The letters were so nice to Tad except for the mad N's." "I learned to pronounce new letters." "I'm going to practice." DVD. 30 min.; $14.99; Age: 2-5. LEAPFROG.

*** TALKING WORDS FACTORY. Encourages children to continue learning as they follow Leap, Lily and Tad on a fun visit to the word assembly plant, where machines take letters and make them into words to teach vowels, consonants and word building. Adult Juror Comments: Wonderful educational title for children who know the sounds of letters and are ready for the next step. Challenging and fun. Catchy songs and clever characters prevent young viewers from becoming bored with word making. "I can handle watching it over and over with my kids as they learn how to read." Kid Juror Comments: Talked about words they could read, sounded out new ones and spelled each other's names. "I want to learn to spell more." "I can spell Tad." Loved the vowel song and sang it repeatedly afterwards. "I liked when the S snake paired up with the T for Stop." "The letters talk." "I want more Leap Frog DVDs." DVD. 30 min.; $14.99; Age: 3-6. LEAPFROG.

** WAI LANA'S LITTLE YOGIS: DAYDREAM CD. A modern rendition of an ancient yoga technique that brings a deep sense of calm and inner balance. Whether your kids are overactive or just need to rest, daydream will help them experience the benefits of yoga. Adult Juror Comments: Peaceful and nice. Encourages relaxation and imagination; good nap time CD for a daycare or bedtime music. Soothing voice wraps the listener with messages of love and peace. Difficult to use the wake-up track. "Kids will only hear the first few minutes then fall asleep and never hear the rest." Kid Juror Comments: Put them to sleep. "I like to sleep. It's nice to listen to when I sleep." "I thought about getting cozy and resting." Found the music pleasing: "The music is haunting." "The lady sings pretty." When asked if they followed the directions for relaxation they gave quizzical looks and no responses. Audio. 75 min.; $14.95; Age: 1-5. WAI LANA PRODUCTIONS.

CD-ROM - Ages 2-5
** SHELLY'S MY FIRST COMPUTER GAME GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS. Shelly will introduce the components of the computer to kids, who can then apply those skills in an interactive storybook. In the activity center, skills can be fine-tuned while developing memory and attention. Adult Juror Comments: A fun first CD for little ones. Nicely illustrated. Visually appealing menu and games with simple music. Great for computer familiarity and basics. Kids are applauded when they do well, and encouraged to try again when they are wrong. Fixed levels inhibit individual progress and exploration. Kid Juror Comments: Younger kids enjoyed learning the parts of the computer. "A screen is not really a computer." "I want to learn more about the computer and books." Felt a sense of accomplishment: "I'm a good typer!" "I'm good at this!" "I spelled that word!" "I did it right!" Even older kids became absorbed in the play. CD-ROM. WIN; .; $29.95; Age: 2-6. ADVANCED BRAIN TECHNOLOGIES.

Video/DVD - Ages 8-12
*** FAMILIES OF EGYPT (Families of the World). In Egypt, we visit two Muslim families near Cairo and Luxor where you view the unique lives of two children and their families. You will experience their culture, family attraction, communities, schools and home. Adult Juror Comments: A gem! Informative and fascinating. Magnetic to kids eager to learn about the world. Shows differences between cultures and similarities between kids. Eases kids into more substantial media viewing. Professional quality even though it's like a home video. Narrows the gap between continents. Kid Juror Comments: Astounded them. "The families are just like mine." "They drink soda like us and eat potato chips." "Religion is important to them." "If we are so alike in so many ways how come people fight wars?" "You will be surprised at how much you are like kids you don't even know." "The baby sleeps like our babies." Video. 30 min.; $29.95; Age: 6-12. MASTER COMMUNICATIONS.

** FAMILIES OF FRANCE (Families of the World). Takes you on a fantastic journey to Lyon and Beaujolais where you view the unique lives of Emilien and Moliere and their families. You will experience their culture, family attraction, communities, schools and home. Adult Juror Comments: Excellent cultural information. Great curricular film. Not fancy. Breaks stereotypes: not all French children are like Madeline or wear berets. Gives an inside view instead of just an overview, like you've been on a trip to their country and stayed in their home. Leads to global understanding. Kid Juror Comments: Found it interesting if educational. "I would like to watch other videos like it to learn about different places." "It is amazing how some things are the same as me and other things are different." "The music was nice, especially when they sang songs as a family." "The vines are old and Euros are cool." Video. 30 min.; $29.95; Age: 5-12. MASTER COMMUNICATIONS.

*** FAMILIES OF VIETNAM (Families of the World). In Vietnam, we visit two families near Ho Chi Mihn City and countryside near Mekong River where you view the unique lives of two children and their families. You will experience their New Year celebration, culture, communities, school, and home. Adult Juror Comments: Beautiful depiction of contemporary Vietnamese family life. Kids-teaching-kids format promotes tolerance of different cultures. Nice contrast between the wealthier city family and the poorer country family. "Counteracts the cultural isolation and superiority that many Americans feel." Kid Juror Comments: Watched eagerly. "Most everyone in our whole class liked it." "We didn't know anything about Vietnam, so it was interesting." "The poor family lives like people did here during the pioneer days." "They eat different foods than we do, like soup for breakfast." "It made me think about how much I have." Video. 30 min.; $29.95; Age: 6-12. MASTER COMMUNICATIONS.

** MY BROWN EYES (Families of the World). A boy rises early and prepares for his first day of school in America. Clever and resourceful, he also makes his own lunch and breakfast for his immigrant parents who work late, but he is unprepared for the challenge that awaits him at school. Adult Juror Comments: Powerful. Complex and elegant short film. Hard-hitting story in a soft style that kids can watch. Inexpensive filming technique works well with story. Helps everyone understand the problems of a diverse society. "I was moved by the compassion in my kids' eyes as they watched the boy's struggles." Kid Juror Comments: Had a profound effect on them. "We could relate to how scared the boy felt because he didn't fit in." "I felt sorry for him." "It's not a fun video." "We have to watch videos like this to learn. It made me think about how I treat other people." "How frustrating it would be to not speak English in America." Video. 30 min.; $29.95; Age: 6-12. MASTER COMMUNICATIONS.


Read more about each title and see many more at

Barbie Fairytopia. English and Spanish. Animation. Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment-70 min.
Starring Barbie™ as Elina! Just through the rainbow, in the world of Fairytopia™ , lives Elina, a beautiful flower fairy who longs to have wings. Her home is a large flower in the Magic Meadow where she lives with Bibble, a quirky but loveable puffball. Ages 4-10.

Sho'Nuff: A Nu'Awlins Jazz Story. Live Action. JuJu Films International. 90 min.
In this age of hip hop, 13-year-old Labi strives to play the traditional New Orleans music of his father and grandfather by organizing a brass band of his peers. Join the excitement and suspense as he hurdles one obstacle after another to fulfill his dream. Available in vhs only. Ages 8-12.

Blue's Clues: Bluestock. Paramount Home Entertainment / Nickelodeon. 102 minutes.
Blue's Clues: Bluestock is a new Blue's Clues music festival with a fun-to-learn celebration in a backyard concert filled with favorite songs and musical clues. "Bluestock" features Toni Braxton and Tickety, Macy Gray and Periwinkle, India Arie and Mailbox, They Might Be Giants, and Blue! Ages 2-5.

Ryan's Well. Live Action. McNabb & Connolly. 50 min.
An inspiring film that follows an amazing six-year old, Ryan Hreljac, from his first grade class where he learns that not all people have fresh water to drink, to northern Uganda to visit his pen pal and to see the well built with funds he raised. Ages 6-15.

A Wrinkle In Time. Live Action. Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 128 min.
Madeleine L'Engle's best-selling and beloved Newbery Award-winning novel bursts to life in a spectacular family film that TV Guide calls "a charming and imaginative film." Enjoy the nonstop excitement and adventure of a Wrinkle in Time, starring Academy Award®-nominated actress Alfre Woodard and teen idol Gregory Smith from TV's Everwood. Directed by John Kent Harrison. Actors include Katie Stuart, David Dorfman, Chris Potter, Kyle Secor, Sean Cullen, Sarah-Jane Redmond, Kate Nelligan and Alison Elliott. It's an amazing journey your family will want to take over and over again. Close-captioned. Released in 2004. Ages 6-12.


World Notes just released the first episode in their new series, Baku the Travel Bug. Check it out at

Big Idea and 1,500 AppleBee's restaurants are joining forces for an extensive, three-month kid's meal promotion beginning in March that features the wholesome and Christian "VeggieTales" series. Chuck E. Cheese will also participate by including a Veggie Tales tune in their in-store video loop in their 500 stores January through June. And last, Tyson Chicken Nuggets is offering a mail-in rebate for the purchase of "Duke and the Great Pie War" and two VeggieTales Fun Nuggets.


World Notes and
World Notes, LLC, produces high-quality educational media that open children's minds to the world around them. They are devoted to generating exciting ways for young children to learn about world cultures through geography, language, and customs. Their ultimate goal is to foster an international consciousness in the world's youth that benefits them now and into adulthood.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization, has partnered with Thinkwell Design & Production to create "Sesame Street Presents," a series of innovative and exciting museum learning experiences. These interactive exhibitions will combine the popularity of Sesame Street's characters with engaging educational curricula and a variety of interactive sets and environments. Beginning with "Sesame Street Presents: The Body," this multi-year tour will premiere at Phoenix's Arizona Science Center on May 14, 2005 and run through November 27, 2005. It will then travel to cities around the country through 2010.

"Sesame Street Presents: The Body" offers an engaging, free-flowing learning experience set in the familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The loveable Sesame Street Muppets anchor an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that feature four different education zones related to the human body. The web site, ,, will offer a preview of the exhibit and downloadable materials.

Stan Lee and his POW! Entertainment are beginning work on a new animated series with a super-hero actually based on a real person: Jay J. Armes, a Texas-based private investigator who lost both of his hands in a childhood accident.

Peabody Award Call for Entries
Deadline: January 14, 2005. Entries from original broadcast, cablecast and webcast programs presented in 2004 are welcome. For more information and online applications, go to

Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: January 28, 2005. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences invites applications for the $10,000 first annual Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is intended to support and encourage an aspiring upper division or graduate student to pursue a career in children's media that furthers the values and principles of Fred Rogers' work. In addition to a monetary award, the scholarship recipient will be assigned a mentor from the Television Academy's Children's Programming Peer Group who will work with him/her during the academic year. The scholarship is open to upper division undergraduates and graduate students (Masters or Ph.D.) of accredited colleges or universities. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment, either through coursework or experience, to any combination of at least two of the following fields: early childhood education, child development/child psychology, film/television production, music and animation. Applicants must also have the ultimate goal of working in the field of children's media. Particular attention will be given to student applicants from inner-city or rural communities. See the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Web site for complete program information.


Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has just proposed legislation that would make Illinois the first state in the nation to ban the distribution, sale, rental, and availability of violent and sexually explicit video games to children under age 18.

Liz Thoman and Media Literacy
by Christine L. Pollock

"Incorporating media literacy is not about adding more to already bulging school days, but about increasing efficiency and relevance," observes Laurie Harrington, a reading specialist in Western NY with a masters degree in literacy. Harrington understands the message of media literacy, a 30-year pioneering leader in media education, Elizabeth Thoman.

While teaching high school in the 1970s, Thoman created the magazine Media&Values which laid the foundation for the development of media literacy in the U.S. and from which emerged the Center for Media Literacy in 1989. The Center's website offers a treasure trove for educators since it assembles some of the world's best resources for media literacy education as well as an online store with excellent resource materials.

The goal of media literacy is to give children skills to access, evaluate and understand media for themselves. In the report, "Media Literacy: A National Priority for a Changing World," Thoman and co-author Tessa Jolls point out that, "The challenge for the teacher (or parent) is not to provide answers, but to stimulate more questions."

Thoman suggests that teachers don't need to purchase expensive materials to teach media literacy. "They can integrate the media literacy into their existing curriculum." For example, if English teachers are focusing on point-of-view, they can analyze editorials from newspapers or discuss the Sunday morning political talk shows. Teachers can easily teach critical thinking using everyday media examples.

Harrington incorporates these ideas in her classroom and achieves encouraging results. "Kids become excited about lessons and learning, which every teacher loves. But, over time, their thinking does become more evaluative and critical, which is the larger goal."

An article from the CML web site demonstrates the incorporation of media analysis into a literature lesson. An English class compares a television commercial to a short story they are studying. The kids in the classroom dissect the commercial using the "Five Key Questions" that Thoman says can "change the world."

For more detailed explanations of these five key questions, download CML's Free MediaLitK™. The questions can be used with any subject.

Key Question #1: Who created this message? This question addresses the core concept that "all messages are 'constructed.'"

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to attract my attention? Is it color? Music? Camera angle?

Key Question #3: How might different people understand this message differently from me? Each individual's circumstance and history gives them a unique perspective on how they view the world.

Key Question #4: What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in-or omitted from-this message?

Key Question #5: Why is this message being sent? Ex: Who is going to profit from the message shown? What is their purpose?

At first, asking these questions for each piece of media will take some time. Then it becomes second nature and students will begin automatically filtering the various media messages they receive.

According to Harrington, teachers will know they are using a relevant mix of media and traditional texts when they see their students applying what they have learned from these media literacy lessons to other areas of their lives, such as social studies, science, and even in their personal media selections. This integration may give teachers an extra incentive to keep finding ways to meld media literacy into their curricula while meeting their state curriculum demands.

Today, the biggest challenge is to train teachers to give children the life-long skills of media literacy. Thoman urges teachers to investigate organizations designed to aid the professional development of teachers in this field.

Just as a teacher might join a social studies or English association, Thoman recommends joining an association for media literacy such as the Alliance for Media Literate America, a national membership organization for teachers of which CML is a founding member and of which CQCM is an organizational member. AMLA's mission is "to stimulate growth in media literacy education in the United States by organizing and providing national leadership, advocacy, networking, and information exchange." Through AMLA, teachers can network, attend local conferences, or even attend national conferences such as the National Media Education Conference 2005: Giving Voice to a Diverse Nation on June 25 - 28, 2005 in San Francisco, California.

In our ever-changing world, dealing with media is an ongoing learning skill. Thoman advises parents to begin educating their children in media literacy right when they leave the maternity ward. Parental attitudes and philosophies mold children into today's media culture. Parents need to instill a sense of turning the TV off as well as on. Limit time in front of it. "Be imaginative," Thoman says, "Put the TV in the closet or drape a table cloth or 'blankie' over it if you don't have a closet. Let the TV take a nap, just like you let your child take a nap."

Children who view media together with their parents critically, and discuss what they see, will begin to reflexively assess media. As a KIDS FIRST! Juror this is something that I have found to be true. When we began evaluating KIDS FIRST! titles, the children and I repeatedly checked the questions on our KIDS FIRST! forms as we analyzed the films. Now, five years later, all of my regular kid jurors instinctively evaluate the media using the key questions without my even having to mention them.

Thoman is full of praise for the KIDS FIRST! Junior Film Critics club, a six to ten-session course in critical viewing skills for children, ages eight to thirteen. "The club is a terrific project teaching children to analyze media," Thoman enthuses.

The Online Juror course is another KIDS FIRST! Program which provides children with media literacy skills. Parents and teachers who would like to teach media literacy while receiving free DVDs, videos, CD-ROMs and other media for their home or classroom, can train online to become KIDS FIRST! jurors. Information on both of these programs can be found at

After thirty years in the field of media literacy, Thoman plans to continue with teacher training and consulting and has a vision for research-based curriculum writing. Her far-reaching goals are attainable with the help of committed parents, teachers and professionals. Working together, we will teach children to navigate through media in a healthy way. All of us at KIDS FIRST! extend our extreme gratitude to Liz Thoman for her conscientious pioneering work in this field. Without her relentless efforts, media literacy would not be the visible issue it has become today.

KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival Schedule:

Join us as we travel around the country with film festivals. Find out when we will be in a town near you. For details read here
Alamogordo NM, Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts. Weekly.
Alamogordo NM, Otero County Film Commission, February 2005 (tent). Annual Festival.
Albuquerque NM, Explora Science Center and Children's Museum. Monthly.
Austin TX, Austin Public Libraries. Weekly.
Boston MA, Children's Museum. Every Thursday.
Brookline MA, Coolidge Corner Theater. Every Saturday.
Dallas TX, USA Film Festival. Annual Film Festival.
Denver CO, Denver Film Society. Every Saturday.
Fargo ND, Fargo Film Festival. Weekly. Annual Festival.
Forest Grove, OR, Forest Theater. Daily.
Fort Wayne IN, Fort Wayne Cinema Center. Weekly.
Houston TX, Houston Children's Museum. Daily.
Indianapolis IN, Association of Children's Museums. Annual Conference.
Los Angeles CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Weekly.
Mariposa CA, Rural Media Arts & Education Project. Weekly.
Nashville TN, Belcourt Theater. Weekly. Annual Festival, February 2005.
New Orleans LA, Louisiana Children's Museum. Weekly. Annual Festival.
Newport Beach CA, Newport Beach Film Festival. Annual Festival.
Oklahoma City OK, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Quarterly.
Orlando FL, Downtown Media Arts Center. Weekly. Annual Festival.
Philadelphia PA, Prince Music Theater. Weekly.
Portland ME, Barbara Bush Children's Hospital. Fundraiser for Barbara Bush Child.
Salt Lake City UT, Salt Lake City Children's Film Festival. Annual Event.
Santa Barbara CA, Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Annual Festival.
Santa Fe NM, KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Annual Event.
Tampa FL, Kid Flix. Annual.
Vancouver, WA, Kiggins Theater. Daily.

Other Events:
April 15: National Media Literacy Conference, Storrs, Connecticut. The third annual Media Literacy Conference at the University of Connecticut focuses on Growing Up in a Mass Media World. Learn how to empower children to grow from critical media consumer to creative media communicators. More information at

May 13 - 15: The Second National Conference for Media Reform, St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, go to

June 25 - 28: National Media Education Conference, San Francisco's Renaissance Parc 55 hotel. "Giving Voice to a Diverse Nation" in San Francisco. The Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA) is committed to promoting media literacy education that is focused on critical inquiry, learning and skill-building. This national, grassroots membership organization will be a key force in bringing media literacy education to all 60 million students in the United States, their parents, their teachers and others who care about youth. (

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. 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. To join, go to: or contact our office at 505.989.8076.

VISIT OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members by clicking here:


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Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media,


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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