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The Newsstand - What's Hot!


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The Newsstand - What's Hot

Christine Pollock, Newsletter Editor
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. -George Bernard Shaw


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Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
March 1, 2005 Issue #3
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
Member News
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Media News
8. Family and Parenting News
9. From Small Street to Big Countries
The Inner Workings of Sesame Workshop
by Christine L. Pollock
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is granted with complete attribution.

Center for Media Literacy Founder, Liz Thoman is interviewed in the January 2005 issue,
click here.

Making Rainbows for Readers - An Interview
with Dr. Twila Liggett



The Belcourt Theater's KIDS FIRST! Festival, February 2005


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.

CQCM Newsletter Archive
Jan. 2005 / Feb. 2005
2004 / 2003 / 2002
2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998
1997a 1997 b

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

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is for people who have come alive." - Rev. Howard Thurman

Dear Friends,

I received a treat in my mailbox this past week. We've had an influx of KIDS FIRST!® titles to review, and one of these titles was from a favorite show of mine, "Maya and Miguel." We saw a sneak preview of it at the Scholastic film festival in January of 2004. Now my kids watch the show daily and continue to savor how cool it was that they saw it before it was broadcast. They are chomping at the bit for me to preview the current title so they can watch it. Yay, KIDS FIRST!®!

To keep up with the fast-paced growth at KIDS FIRST!®, we are 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 fully refunded after you have been active as a juror for only six months. Jurors get to keep the titles they review at no charge. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians, parents, daycare providers and others involved with children to help KIDS FIRST!® while building their own quality media library. To register or get more information, please visit:

It isn't just that KIDS FIRST!® is growing. It's so inspiring to be a part of it. When I attended the KIDS FIRST!® annual meeting last October, I was deeply impressed by everyone's dedication to children. It was very heartening to see such focus on children and not on profits.

This month I found that same kind of inspiration in a place that is known globally-Sesame Workshop, creators of the unrivaled Sesame Street. Long-time KIDS FIRST!® contributor Dr. Ed Greene recently accepted a position with Sesame Workshop and in this month's article, he graciously shares a fresh look behind the "storefronts" on that famous and beloved street. As Director of Global Relations for Sesame Workshop, Dr. Green gives us all heart by explaining how Sesame Workshop is extending its positive influence outside the U.S. All of us here at KIDS FIRST!® commend Dr. Greene for his work with children and media literacy. See his work highlights in my article below.

I want to thank you, our readers, for your contributions and suggestions to the newsletter. Your letters may be used in future issues unless you state otherwise. As always, I welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed; notices of awards, publications, and products; or suggestions for articles...drop me at line.

Have a wonderful month!
Christine Pollock, Editor

Dear Readers,

A big welcome goes out to Discovery Kids, our new KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival sponsor. Our history with Discovery goes back to 1992 when they became the Coalition's first corporate member. Discovery Chairman, John Hendricks responded to a membership inquiry with the words, "I know how difficult this is to do and am pleased to support your important work."

Discovery Kids is joining our other national sponsors - Disney, Paramount, MGM, Twentieth Century Fox, Lions Gate Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Comical Sense. Many thanks to all for your contributions which make the KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival possible.

I've just spent a wonderful weekend with my darling grandson, Aden, who is three and a half and an avid KIDS FIRST! Juror. During the weekend, Aden and I watched Two Brothers, Barbie Fairytopia, Berenstain Bears, and Sandlot 2 - all of which are included in Festival. He is my personal guide when we watch movies because he has no problem telling me when he's no longer interested and ready to watch something else. He loved all five of these.

This was in my mind Monday morning as I sat down to review our new submissions with Michelle. I looked at the list of independent titles which teach pre-schoolers how to count and the alphabet. It is surprising to me that, with all the competition from the large players - from Sesame Street to Dora to Blue's Clues - independents are trying to compete in this educational genre. If there is one piece of advice I'd give to independent producers, it would be to forget this educational tract and do something unique - tell us a story. There are so many great stories from all over the world that would make great videos. I would just love to see a whole slew of them from independent producers.

Some great examples of independent work that really fills this need are Raven Tales, Stealing Innocence, Room to Grow, Peace on Earth: The Wheel of Peace and Seeing the Unseen: The Paws and Tales Animated Series, all of which we've just accepted into our Festival. Congratulations to the producers of these titles for their originality and their quality productions. May your work be enjoyed and be an inspiration to all.

Kudos to Sam and Yvonne at Netman, our webmaster, for completing a redesign of our KIDS FIRST! Online Store. They have just finished upgrading our whole look and interactivity on the store and I think you'll agree, it's great. Go to and see for yourself.

I hope you enjoy Chris' interview with Ed Greene, one of the world's great contributors to children's media. Ed has been involved with the Coalition almost since the beginning but it wasn't until two years ago when he and his wife, Jackie were visiting me in Santa Fe that we realized that we were students at the University of Michigan at the same time. Small world isn't it. Other U of M alumni on our board are Sarah Frank and Jeff Yapp. Here's a toast to all you mid-westerners, may March come in like a lion and go out like a lamb and may spring be on its way.

Much love,

Ranny Levy
Founder and President, KIDS FIRST!


Q. I noticed that there are sometimes mentions in the newsletter when members get good press…we're slated to get some good reviews in the coming months and was wondering if I should send you updates as they come in? - Gretchen Effgen, World Notes, LLC

A. Definitely! Send me any news, quotes, information, press releases, etc. you would like others to see. Our newsletter is a place for members to brag and network!! Just send me an email at

READING RAINBOW RESPONSES (February 2005, Issue #2)
Reading Rainbow is the pot of gold all generations delight in finding! There are times when I am at home and have the TV on randomly channel surfing when I find myself settling in on a delightful story being read on Reading Rainbow---and all seems right and good in the world again! Its comforting message and mode of delivering it is a welcome reprise and retreat---restoring even worn and weary old souls such as mine! It is so needed in our world! Thank you for this opportunity to express this. ~Nancy Forer

I have never been moved to write a "fan" letter, but when I read in your Kids First® e-letter that funding for "READING RAINBOW" is tight, and the program possibly threatened, I just had to write. Our son David is severely dyslexic and struggles mightily with auditory input. "READING RAINBOW" with its unfrenetic, non-animated, straight as an arrow approach using visuals paired with authentic speech coming from the heart and mind of an absolutely brilliant educator is in my estimation the VERY best educational program on television, and rather than being curtailed should be extended to the whole English speaking world. -Louise Goldberg and Nicholas Friend on behalf of the David Goldbergs of this world


***Hermie Una Oruga Comun. An inspirational tale of a plain caterpillar who longs to be more. Hermie tries to imitate other insects with no success. After each failed attempt, he asks God for guidance and the result is an amazing transformation. Excellent production. Great animation, music, style, and story.

***Magic Frank's: Magic 4 Fun Video. Features 21 tricks with everyday objects - from rubber bands, paper clips, sugar packets, rope, string, even a few card and coin tricks. Cool, even for adults. It moves quickly. Best to watch all the way through first, then repeat when you want to actually learn the tricks. Very age appropriate. Home style production but, it works. Like fancy props aren't needed.

**Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Head Seaward. Hamtaro, an insatiably curious hamster, with a group of pals, known as the Ham-Hams, gather together in their clubhouse to plan their next adventure while their owners are in school. The precocious pets find themselves in a dilemma of their own. Positive, uplifting stories. Shows good role models for teaching respect and cooperation. Demonstrates that "little ones" can do "big things."


Video/DVD - Ages 2 - 5
** IMAGINATION (GINA D'S KIDS CLUB). Gina turns her clubhouse into a magical pretend world of fantasy and fun. Birdie and Hammy use their imagination to turn the living room couch into an airplane. The BoBo Blocks go on an imaginary train ride to find a home for KiKi the kitten. Mr. Pockets leads an imaginary band. Adult Juror Comments: Entertaining overall. Solid, interactive program encourages kids to use their imaginations. Lots of variety: many characters, sets and colors. Interesting mix of animation, real people and terrific music. Summary at the end recaps the adventures. Some parts are better than others. Kid Juror Comments: Something for everyone. Some sang the ABC song and loved the train. Some named instruments and thought the starfish song was funny. Some danced and made animal sounds. They laughed and bopped to the songs. You have to practice to get good at something. It uses the imagination. It is too silly. TV. 28 min.; $0; Age: 2-5. MG STUDIOS.

* KIDS MUSICAL YOGA "LET'S GO TO THE OCEAN" (KIDS MUSICAL YOGA). This unique, interactive format takes children on a magical journey where they get to pretend and move and sing. Led by fairy princess Andreanna and her musical helper Talon, kids do yoga while singing silly, original songs. Adult Juror Comments: Imaginative and very repetitious. Cute kids, good songs. Nice costumes and ocean pictures. Creative props in regular rooms show adults how to be imaginative. Yoga moves are shown briefly; kids unfamiliar with yoga might be confused. Unclear whether the poses are to relax or energize the kids. Kid Juror Comments: Tried at least some of the movements, but preferred dancing...or wandered away. They mostly sat and watched it. They enjoyed the dolphin and decided the fairy dust was sparkles. I want to learn about "ohm." I really like the music. Why does it say we are all perfect when we do things that are wrong? DVD. 30 min.; $16.95; Age: 2-5. KIDS MUSICAL YOGA.

** KIKI'S NEW HOME (GINA D'S KIDS CLUB).When Captain Salty and Milo discover a stowaway onboard their ship, they set out to find Kiki the kitten a new home. The adventure continues when she boards the Alphabet Express with Paddy and Bobo who help her to imagine new places to live. She befriends Jenny who delivers her to a new home on the farm. Adult Juror Comments: Simple linear story line puts a lot of educational information - transportation, numbers, animal sounds, shape, and senses - into a small space. Soft, bright colors and basic shapes inspire imaginative thinking. Appealing three-dimensionality. Music is lively and not too overwhelming. Kid Juror Comments: Seemed happy and attentive while watching it. I like the kitty! I like the Moo-moo! Moo-moos eat hay! Enjoyed the rhythm. There was a lot of head-nodding and hand-clapping to the beat and lots of "moo-moo-moos." One child asked to watch it everyday, and everyone watched without getting bored. TV. 6.3 min.; $0; Age: 2-5. MG STUDIOS.


Read more about each title and see many more at

Ages 5-8
Direct to DVD Premiere
Balto III: Wings of Change. Animation. 76 min.

The mail in the north used to be delivered by dogsled, but the success of airplane delivery leaves Balto and the other sled dogs feeling neglected. However, when a delivery plane crashes on a mountain side, the sled dogs get the opportunity to show their worth. This story also prominently features Balto's son, Kodi, who was among the puppy litter that we met in Balto II: Wolf Quest. For ages 5-10. From Universal Home Entertainment.


Direct to DVD Premiere
Barbie Fairytopia. Animation. 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. One day Elina wakes to find that her flower home is sick, and that her fairy friends can't fly! She summons the courage to help and embarks on a fantastic journey to find Azura, a Guardian Fairy she thinks can solve the problem. What Elina doesn't know is that the evil Laverna has caused the flying sickness as part of her plan to take power from the Enchantress, ruler of Fairytopia ™ ! Elina's journey, on the back of a giant and beautiful butterfly named Hue takes her to amazing and beautiful places. She meets new people who test her courage and teach her the value of true friendship. But can a wingless fairy save all of Fairytopia ™? Join Barbie ™, as Elina, in her first ever Fairytopia ™ movie and discover a magical land of fairies, flowers, and enchanting experiences! English and Spanish. For ages 4-10. From Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment.

DVD Premiere
The Berenstain Bears: Bears Mind Their Manners! Animated. (Episodic)

Please and thank you can make your day. They're as nice to hear as they are to say! Join the Berenstain Bears in a new set of adventures that focus on good manners and kindness to others. BEARS MIND THEIR MANNERS features the following episodes: "Say Please and Thank You," "Papa's Pizza," "Mighty Milton," "Double Dare," "The Big Blooper" and "Get the Gimmies." Ages 2-5; Close-captioned. From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Hi-5: Move Your Body. Live Action.
Young movers and shakers everywhere are dancing to a whole new beat and discovering a whole new sensation….They’re Hi-5 and they’re here to celebrate their latest video “Move Your Body.” Shake and fizz with Karla and her fizzy friends. March with Curtis as he plays his trumpet in the Hi-5 Marching Band. Go on a surfing safari with Jennifer and Chats. Have some fun with Shaun as he plays his favorite ball games. Play dress-ups with Kimee and do the belly wobble dance. Together with their friends Chatterbox and Jup Jup, they’ll take you on a journey filled with color, brimming with imagination and pumping with life. For ages 2-5. From MGM Home Entertainment.


DVD Premiere
Land Before Time 11: Invasion of the Tinysauruses - 81 min.

Your favorite prehistoric pals are back in an all-new adventure filled with fun and laughter. This time around, the Tinysauruses invade the Great Valley to teach Littlefoot a big lesson about a little lie. Meet their new tiny friends and sing along to brand new songs. Featuring the unforgettable voices of Michael Clarke Duncan and Camryn Manheim, The Invasion of the Tinysauruses shows that heroes, friends and familes come in all shapes and sizes. Produced and Directed by Charles Grosvenor. Written by John Loy, music by Mike Tavera. Actors: Camryn Manheim, MIchael Clarke Duncan. Ages 2-5. From Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Direct to DVD Premiere
Raven Tales: Raven Steals the Sun. CGI Animation. 23 min.
Join the wild and funny adventures of Raven, the most powerful, and one might add, trickiest troublemaker of First Nations Folklore. He is joined by his steadfast brother, Eagle, and the mysterious Frog. Together they will learn the secret that will release light and life into the world, a secret that might just burn a few feathers as well. Starring Dr. Evan Adams (Smoke Signals), winner of the Sundance Best Actor Award, Ian Reid and Carmen Moore. Ages 5-12.
From Raven Tales Productions.


DVD Premiere
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Animation. 30 min.

Deep in the heart of turn-of-the-century India, a young mongoose is adopted by a British family. "Every well-bred mongoose hopes to be a house mongoose someday," narrates Orson Welles - and indeed, bushy-tailed RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI does that (and more) in this exciting Rudyard Kipling classic. Protecting his "family" to the death, Rikki battles Nag and Nagaina - two hideously evil cobra snakes who want to kill the humans in order to safely hatch their eggs. Miles ahead of ordinary cartoon fare, RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI is a very special animated film that will be welcomed addition to any home video library. Also includes: Yankee Doodle Cricket (30 min.) Meet Chester the cricket, Tucker the mouse and Harry the cat and their fanciful account of what really happened during the Revolutionary War. Yankee Doodle Cricket is a playful patriotic salute to both our nation's heritage...and humor. English, Close Captioned. Chuck Jones. Original release - 1975. From Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment.

Direct to DVD Premiere
Touching Wild Horses. Live Action. 91 min.
After a terrible car accident involving his family, 12-year-old Mark is sent to live with his Aunt Fions (Jane Seymour) on a beautiful and remote island. Isolated from most of the world, Fiona and a park ranger are the only human inhabitants of this wind-swept island, home to a herd of wild horses. Her reclusive personality makes Mark's new life on the island difficult, but he soon begins to see the beauty of the nature and the animals around them, including the horses they are forbidden to touch. When the mother of a young colt is killed, mark breaks the rules and begins to feed and nurture the young animal. At first Fiona is furious, but as she and Mark begin to create their own family bonds, she helps him to keep the horse from starving and each learns lessons from the other about compassion, faith and family ties. Ages 12-15. From First Look Home Entertainment.

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: The Cat's Play Pals. 72 min. (Episodic)

This hit pre-school series from Jim Henson whisks you away on an amazing journey through the fantastical land of Dr. Seuss, where imaginations run wild, and absolutely anything can happen. Features three episodes: "The Song Of The Zubble-Wump," "The Birthday Moose" and "The Guest." Executive producers: Stephanie Simpson and Brian Henson; Producer: Jerry Kupfer and David Gumpel; Director: David Gumpel. Ages 2-5. Close-captioned. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment




"I am a stay-at-home dad who enjoys seeing my child become media literate while we build a home library of quality videos for free." Jason Harrington


Baby Prodigy
The Baby Prodigy Company™ creates infant developmental products that provide parents with quality, educational entertainment for their children from birth through the years of early childhood. Baby Prodigy™ products, along with main characters Dookie Duck™ & Dottie Duck,™ utilize music and colors along with playful puppets and animation to captivate children of all ages.

Head-On Entertainment Inc. mailto:[email protected]
Head-On Entertainment produces and manages quality music for independent distribution, TV / radio commercials and live events. Offering in-house engineering, live and studio production, original music and artwork.

ThinkFilm Kids
ThinkFilm is a privately held independent film distributor with offices in Toronto, New York City and Los Angeles. ThinkFilm operates in various media throughout the US and Canada including theatrical films, all forms of television and the home video/DVD market.

Discovery Channel Celebrates 20th Anniversary Year
Discovery Kids is a KIDS FIRST!® Festival Sponsor. They, along with the rest of the Discovery channel, plan to celebrate this anniversary with a dozen specials that "honor their history and embrace their future." These specials will be telecast throughout 2005. More information can be found at

"Because of Winn-Dixie" Receives the Truly Moving Picture Award
Heartland announces "Because of Winn-Dixie" as its newest Truly Moving Picture Award recipient. Jeff Daniels and Cicely Tyson helped kick off the 2004 Heartland Film Fest this past October with a special, sold-out screening of "Winn-Dixie" in Indianapolis. The film also kicks off a new Heartland partnership with the National Collaboration for Youth designed to impact youth around the country. The partnership will promote reading for fun and film literacy among children and youth while building a stronger constituency for Heartland's Truly Moving PicturesSM.

Cash for Commercials
TNS Media Intelligence estimates a 5.1 percent increase in advertising spending this year. There will be a marked increase in spending on the internet and in Spanish-language TV as part of the estimated $150.5 billion budget.

Arts Engine, Inc. is Hiring: Director of Development & External Affairs
MediaRights' parent non-profit, Arts Engine, Inc. is seeking a senior development staff person to assist with its growth from a small to a midsized organization. This is a full-time position. Applications are now being reviewed.


Do You Value Your Children More Than Sales?
The Alliance for American Advertising is fighting to inundate our children with commercialism. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is fighting against this campaign. If you believe that our children should have a commercial-free childhood, then please go to and add your name to the statement, which will be sent to your representatives.

Get Kids Moving With Electronic Games
Playskool's ION Educational Gaming System gets kids up and learning. This week's International Toy Fair offers a first look at the ION educational gaming system, offering 3- to 7-year-olds learning, fun and physical activity. The new console includes a camera you put near the TV. The menus and game action are all controlled by the child's movements, not a game controller, so kids have to get up and move around to play. See the news release and photo:

Sesame Street Begins its 36th Year, Focusing on Health
Debuting April 4th on PBS, Sesame Street's newest curriculum is part of a larger Sesame Workshop company-wide initiative, "Healthy Habits for Life," created in response to the growing crisis of childhood obesity among children. Sesame Workshop will guide preschoolers and their caregivers through lessons related to healthy eating, the importance of active play and other key activities such as hygiene and rest.

Small Street to Big Countries
The Inner Workings of Sesame Workshop with Dr. Ed Greene
By Christine L. Pollock

Big.yet small. Sesame Workshop is a dichotomy, I reflected as I hung up the phone after interviewing Dr. Ed Greene, Director of Global Outreach for Sesame Workshop and member of the KIDS FIRST!® team since 1996.

The big/small dichotomy is most likely a key ingredient of Sesame Workshop's success. Instead of mimicking cut-throat "big" industry, according to Dr. Greene, the world-famous street is the result of cooperation that is reminiscent of a small community. Creative group effort crosses departments within New York, and then - even more remarkably - crosses oceans and cultural barriers to governments, foundations, and governmental and non-governmental partnerships in other countries co-producing Sesame Street. From the actual show, to learning products, to education programs, everyone pulls together their strengths to produce quality materials. Greene cites the literacy program in Central America he is working on as a good example.

Greene, an early childhood professional with over thirty years experience in the field, has served in a variety of capacities in governmental and non-governmental settings including Director of Information Services, at the National Association for the Education of Young Children; The Discovery Channel's "Ready, Set, Learn" initiative; and High/Scope Educational Research Foundation and demonstration preschool.

Greene joined Sesame Workshop in December 2004 when international expansion prodded Sesame Workshop to create the Director of Global Relations position. Formerly known as Children's Television Workshop, the first Sesame Street program aired in November 1969, becoming an overnight success. Within a year, producers from English-speaking countries such as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia were knocking on the Children's Television Workshop door, asking to rebroadcast parts of the series.

The popularity didn't stop there. Kids begged to see the show and parents raved about the fun lessons taught to the children. In time, Sesame Street characters became heroes in children's books and in computer games. In 2000, Talakani, Sesame debuted on South African television and radio. Currently, Sesame Street is shown to children in over 120 countries.

Over the decades, Sesame Street has become stronger. In 2000, The Children's Television Workshop changed its name to Sesame Workshop. The Sesame Workshop programming extends across curricula, through urban and rural areas, into classrooms, and into the hearts of educators and children. All this is achieved through a collaborative approach involving many different departments at Sesame Workshop.

As I listened to Greene, my perception of Sesame Workshop changed dramatically. When I dialed the phone for the interview, I had expected to encounter high-powered executives rattling off marketing stats. Instead, I discovered a group of people who work together and admire each other's contributions - similar to a small-town business. They are united by their dedication to society, their focus on children…a group that uses whatever profits they generate to educate children and support production and initiatives such as outreach.

Several years ago I saw one program firsthand. I was a Head Start home daycare provider, and in compliance with our provider guidelines, the children were expected to brush their teeth after every meal. This was a particular struggle with one child in my group who had a cleft palate. We knew it was critical for him to keep his teeth clean, but he resented brushing his teeth, and it was a constant battle. One spring evening I attended a Head Start meeting that issued donated Sesame Street educational products to daycare providers to help us teach the children about health and safety. The packets included coloring pages, pamphlets, stickers, and toothbrushes.

Thereafter tooth brushing was forever changed in our home. The kids chose their special brush with favorite Sesame Street characters and raced to the bathroom after each meal so they could brush with their "friend." The child with the cleft palate was frequently the first one done eating because he was so eager to brush with Elmo.

I related my daycare story to Greene and he chuckled appreciatively. One reason Sesame Workshop is so successful is their research. They know what kids like, what kids need, and what educators are looking for…and they provide it. Perhaps this is why so many countries are clamoring for rights to produce the show.

When Sesame Workshop co-produces Sesame Street with another country, it is a collaborative effort among government officials and social engineers. Seminars are conducted, based on research and information from the local experts, to determine the values and local context to be communicated.

Sometimes, Sesame Street aids other countries without actually producing a show. For example, in the Andean region of Central America, Sesame Workshop provides materials to complement literacy training programs at The Center for Excellence in Teacher Training, which is funded by the USAID initiative.

Yolanda Platon, a Sesame Street consultant based in Puerto Rico, works on this program with Rosio Golarza (Education and Research) in New York City. With modern technology, Greene, Platon, and Golarza can work together, in spite of the miles between them, on the rollout for this initiative. They are striving to integrate the lessons into a resource handbook, taking into account cultural and pedagogical differences between regions. They incorporate the use of specific children's books to complement their reading program.

A primary Sesame Workshop goal is to provide basic concepts for kids to learn about the world. By making training resources affordable and accessible to caregivers, Sesame Workshop also succeeds in its corollary goal to train adults in how to enhance these basic learning concepts.

Other outreach strategies prepared for educators and providers are: Learn and Grow with Sesame Workshop; Everyday Math and Science; From Language to Literacy; Music and Art Together; Making the Most of Screen Time; and Diversity-A Learning Tool. These packages can be found at

For Greene, a great joy of his job is learning how lives are touched through Sesame Street. A favorite response comes from an African-American viewer-musician who grew up in Lansing, Michigan. Greene met Melissa White at an awards event when she was fourteen. He asked her how she became so interested in violin. White responded that she decided to become a violinist at age four after watching virtuoso Itzhak Perlman perform on Sesame Street. Since this meeting with Greene, White has attended The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and has been included in Teen People Magazine's "Teen People Top 20."

More success stories such as White's are waiting to be told as Sesame Workshop succeeds in reaching out globally to meet local needs - without having to resort to "big" industry tactics. "I feel fortunate to have been recruited by Sesame Workshop Vice President, Donna Chandler for this opportunity in my career to work at Sesame Workshop," Greene proclaims. With a "community" of dedicated academics like Greene on the "Street," it's no wonder that the small street has made such big inroads in bettering the lives of children worldwide.

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

Albuquerque, Explora Science Center Children's Museum, NM, Weekly
Austin, Austin Public Library, TX, Weekly at All Austin Public Libraries
Boston, Boston Children's Museum*, MA, Weekly
Brookline, Coolidge Corner Theater, MA, Weekly, every Saturday
Cincinnati, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, OH, check website for programming
Dallas, USA Film Festival*, TX, and Monthly
Denver, Denver Film Society, CO, Every Saturday
Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Cinema Center, IN, Weekly
Garden City, Long Island Children's Museum, NY, Weekly
Houston, Children's Museum of Houston, TX, Daily
La Crosse, Children's Museum of LaCrosse, WI, Every Friday & Saturday
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, Weekly
Los Angeles, Los Angeles Zoo, CA, Summer 2005
Mexico D. F., Papalote Museo del Nino*, Annual Festival, April, 2005
Nashville, Belcourt Theater, TN, Weekly
New Orleans, Louisiana Children's Museum, LA, Weekly
Newport Beach, Newport Beach Film Festival, CA, Annual Festival April 21-30
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Art Museum, OK, Monthly
Philadelphia, Prince Music Theater, PA, Weekly
Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ, Monthly
Phoenix, Phoenix Film Festival, AZ, Annual Festival April 7-10th
Portland, Barbara Bush Children's Hospital*, ME, Fundraiser April, 2005
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City Children's Film Festival*, UT
San Jose, Mexican Heritage Plaza*, CA, Weekly
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara International Film Festival*, CA, Annual
Festival June 05
Santa Fe, PeaceJam, NM, Annual Conference April 16-17
Santa Fe, KIDS FIRST! Film & Video Festival*, NM, Annual Festival May-05
Spring, Community Cinema, TX, Community Programming on Demand
* pending

Other Events:
March 11-13, Howard University, Washington, DC: "Consuming Kids: Predatory Marketing, Health and Policy." How can you combat the negative effects of marketing on our children?

April 6-9, Taos, New Mexico: Taos Media Literacy Forum and Taos Teen Media Forum present seminars and workshops for youth with discussions for both youth and adults on media literacy.

April 15, Storrs, Connecticut: "Growing Up in a Mass Media World." Empowers the young to be critical media consumers.

April 29-May 1, Sheraton Universal, LA: Great American PitchFest. Approximately 100 companies will be present to hear pitches for movies and television shows of every genre and format. Twilight Pictures is teaming up with the International Family Film Festival to host a screenplay competition. or email [email protected] for more information.

June 25-28, San Francisco: "Giving Voice to a Diverse Nation." 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.

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 ******************
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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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