to the KIDS FIRST!® Home
Pollock, Newsletter Editor
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore
it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function
of looking forward. - Margaret Fairless Barber
Turning your TV Time into Quality Time
August 15, 2006 Issue #8b
Christine L. Pollock, Editor
Ranny Levy, Publisher
1. Letters from the Editor and President
2. Web Store Features
4. New Endorsements
5. Festival Titles
6. New Members/Renewing Members
7. Member News
8. Media News
9. Family and Parenting News
10. Evergreen Film by Christine L. Pollock
11. Crafts and Activities: Preparing
to go Back to School from Dr. Toy and Make a Puzzle Activity
12. Festival City Schedule and Events
13. Special Offers
* Permission to forward or reprint the content herein is
granted with complete attribution.
the Famous Do Children's Films - Interviews with Daniel
Roebuck and Jim Hanks
in Your Movies
House- an interview with actress/producer Cindy Baer
KIDS FIRST!® logo store
Your purchase of hats, T-shirts, baby jumpers, bibs,
and totes benefit KIDS FIRST!®
an Affiliate of the
KIDS FIRST!® Web Store
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
2006 Jan 3 / Jan
18 / Feb 7 / Feb
21 / Mar 14/ Mar
28 / Apr 4 / Apr
25 / May 2/ May
16/ June 6 /June
July 4 / July
18 / Aug 1
Links to newsletters from 2005 or earlier
may be found at the bottom of this page
Welcome to KIDS FIRST!® NEWS. All articles are by Coalition for Quality Children's
Media unless otherwise noted.
to Kathleen Krajewski from Kensington, CT, our newest KIDS FIRST!
juror. Krajewski is a former accountant who now has, according to
her, "the best job in the world." She is the mother of
a four-year-old son, Matthew, and 3 great stepchildren. She finds
plenty of opportunity to interact with children through her church,
where she involved with a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program,
and at The Worthington School for Young Children, a private preschool
her son attends.
If you are interested
in becoming a juror, go to our juror
page for more information. I have been a juror for six years
and my children still get excited every time a new package from
KIDS FIRST! comes to the door. They are especially thrilled to hear
that our next package will include a game to evaluate for Game Boy
As always, I
welcome your input. If you have comments on titles we have endorsed;
notices of media awards, publications, and products; or suggestions
for articles. . . Please drop me a line.
As you might
imagine, there is an endless flow of films coming through the KIDS
FIRST! office on any week. Now, with more than 100 different venue
partners and screenings year-round, we will have more than 10,000
screenings of KIDS FIRST! Film Festival titles this year alone.
That's a lot of film screenings and a lot of films, more than 300
of them, that we will have shown in the last 12 months. Every August,
our staff begins to pull together the audience evaluations of all
the films that have screened in the last twelve month in order to
compile a list of nominees for our annual KIDS FIRST! Best Awards,
including more than 20 category awards and 5 Best of Fest Awards.
By the end of this month, we will post the list, and you will be
invited to vote for the Audience Favorite award. Our Awards Event
this year will be in Los Angeles, time and place soon to be announced.
Until then, please remember that our next deadline for submissions
for our First Quarter 2007 Festivals and our KIDS FIRST! Endorsement
is Sept. 15. October 30 is our late deadline.
As you may be
aware, we are a membership-driven organization. We have recently
changed our Independent Producer Membership policies in order to
provide our members more benefits.They include: membership renewals
at half the membership fee, if done without a lapse ($100), reduced
application fees on subsequent title submitted from a member ($75)
within their membership year, and (you'll love this one) - one application
fee waived if the member becomes a KIDS FIRST! juror. This still
requires that the member take our online Juror training which costs
$40 and is completely refundable once you jury 6 titles. For details,
please visit http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/member.htm.
enjoy your summer.
and President, KIDS FIRST!®
JUROR TRAINING PROGRAM
about what kids watch? Want to do something about it? Become a KIDS FIRST!® juror. It's easy. Take our online training. It will
take you about four hours to complete and we will provide you with
your own personal trainer. The $40 fee is 100% reimbursable once
you evaluate six titles for KIDS FIRST!® . You may keep any
movie you approve. What a wonderful way for teachers, librarians,
parents, and daycare providers to build their own quality media
library while helping evaluate movies for others. To register or
get more information, please visit
our KIDS FIRST!® juror's page.
KIDS FIRST!® WEB STORE FEATURES
Trip DVDs for PK. Includes: Baby Songs: ABC, 123 - Colors
& Shapes (see
details). Baby Songs: Baby's Busy Day (see
details). Finger Plays with "Miss Lori" (see
details). Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe (see
details). DVD. 176 min. ; $33.59; Age: 2-5.
Road Trip DVDs. Wheels On the Bus: Mango Helps the Moon Mouse
details). Wheels On the Bus: Mango and Papaya's Animal Adventure
details). DVD. 71 min. ; $28.70; Age: 2-5. Armstrong Moving Pictures.
Capt'n Gravity Ranger Program. Movement is the language of the
brain. The Capt'N Gravity Ranger Program improves your child's learning
skills through exercise. Improved coordination promotes improved
learning. Movement knowledge is brain science. Step into your learning
curve. DVD. 30 min. ; Ages: 8-12. Dr. Gerald Brickley, LLC.
Fit! Elementary Kids! Introduces the whole family to yoga. Kids
stretch and strengthen their growing bodies, sharpen their minds
and improve their balance and coordination. These are healthy habits
with life long benefits. Master Eastwest, a playful martial artist,
teaches kids the ethics of how to use karate and when not to use
it. DVD. 90 min. ; $28.70; Age: 3-8. Wai Lana Productions and Magic
of Martial Arts Productions.
Snails Letter Adventure. Join Jake and the Pocket Snails on
a magical adventure learning the letters of the alphabet. DVD includes
interactive activities, music player, Meet the Snails, company bio
and TV commercial. DVD. 35 min. ; $12.76; Age: 2-5. Soaring Star
Wheels on the Bus Video: Mango Helps the Moon Mouse. Through
the use of live action, animation, puppetry and animatronics, characters
undertake a musical adventure to a reptile show, a bird show, a
grocery store and even the moon. DVD. 38 min. ; $10.39; Age: 2-5. Armstrong Moving Pictures.
Time! Volume 6: My Favorite Things. Join Alex, Leah, their frog
Hopkins, and Signing Time's Rachel Coleman for more signing fun! Teaches ASL signs for fruits, vegetables, colors of the rainbow,
and activities. Divided into segments for colors; and fruits and
veggies, and activities, Includes ASL tips. DVD. 30 min. ; $17.59;
Age: 2-5. Two Little Hands Productions, LLC.
and Shapes: Jack the Cuddly Dog. Soothing new education video
for babies. Jack is a puppy who lives in Central Park, New York
City. He explores colors, shapes, animals, flowers, mountains, trees
and more. Classical music pieces are performed by award-winning
concert pianist, Cheryl Tschanz Newkirk. KIDS FIRST!®Adult DVD. 28 min. ; $12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby Productions. DVD. 28 min. ;
$12.79; Age: 1-5. Hello Baby Productions, LLC.
New Endorsements can be found at
*** = Titles
receiving the highest scores are given a three-star rating.
** = Titles that meet or exceed the criteria receive a two-star
rating. * = Titles that meet the baseline criteria but require some extra
consideration on the part of the viewer receive a one-star rating.
Growing up With Clifford. In these eight big episodes, Clifford
the Big Red Dog learns what getting bigger is all about. Life lessons
are more fun when you learn them with Clifford. Join these great-for-the-whole-family
adventures, as Clifford and his friends get bigger and braver, learn
about new grown-up responsibilities, and fantasize about being big
red fire dogs. You'll learn that growing up with friends around
definitely makes getting bigger better. Episodes Include: "Blanket
Blues," "Dog for a Day," "Food for Thought,"
"Nothing to Fur but Fur Itself," "When I Grow Up,"
"Another Fine Mess," "Fishing Lessons," "Vaz
Goes Down the Tubes. " Adult Juror Comments: Kid Juror Comments:
DVD. 90 min. ; $13.49; Age: 2-5. Lionsgate Family Entertainment.
Veggie Tales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler. Together, Sheerluck
Holmes and Dr. Watson can solve any crime. But when the valuable
golden ruler goes missing, will Sheerluck remember the all-important
golden rule in time to rescue the ruler and save his friendship?
English and Spanish audio tracks. Adult Juror Comments: It's hard
not to love a Veggie Tales movie. The characters are familiar and
the story lines are always fresh, fun, timely and exciting. Great
for transcending race issues since they're all "veggies. "
Exhibits great examples of how to treat others. Bible verses are
mentioned in a very subtle way. This title addresses the Golden
Rule, tolerance, kindness and empathy. Kid Juror Comments: Loved
it. "We love the Veggie Tales! Bob and Larry rock! ~. They
always sing the theme song and we dance along. " By the time
the kids filled out their evaluation form, they had already watched
it a second time. "Even my parents love the Veggies. "
"All our favorites are here - especially Bob and Larry. We
like the others too. " Both boys and girls enjoy them equally.
"There are always lessons to be learned. In this one Larry
was being selfish and he hurt Bob's feelings. He learned that he
needed to share the credit with his friend and be a team player.
" DVD. 52 min. ; $14.99; Age: 5-12. Big Idea Productions, Inc.
FROM KIDS FIRST!® FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL 2006
For a complete list of all Festival titles currently
being shown, visit
Tales: Experience New Things L. 67 min. Teaches children how
to adapt to change, and to view it as a positive experience. Whether
moving into a new home, having friends move away or learning from
a substitute teacher at school, change is positive and allows for
children to grow as individuals. These lighthearted, engaging and
playful episodes allow children to embrace change, and feel good.
ToddWorld: Water U Thinking L. 11 min. When Sophie's pet fish Banana
and his friend Finnegan become ill, Todd and Sophie trace the trouble
to Finnegan's pond and discover it's polluted. Todd and Sophie must
teach their friends not to litter and to respect where other people
live. Includes a special song "Take a look inside" performed
by Al Jarreau.
Shortcake: Berry Fairy Tales L. 45 min. Strawberry Shortcake and her friends offer berry special lessons
in friendship when adventuresome fairies bring a hint of magical
mischief to Strawberryland. When Strawberry Shortcake happens upon
an injured Margalo B. BerryGlow, she sweetly offers to take her
in and nurse her back to health. Strawberry embarks on a second
fairy adventure when the slightly clumsy Sherry Bobbleberry gets
blown into her open window while on a special mission for the Fairy
Queen. English and Spanish.
L. 66 min. When Arthur's dog Pal disappears, Arthur must enlist the help of
his friends to track him down. While Pal discovers his newfound
freedom, Arthur discovers how much he misses his dog. Good thing
Arthur has the gang to turn to--especially his best friend, Buster
Baxter, who dusts off his old detective gear to get on the case. This canine quest leads Arthur and Buster across Elwood city, deep
into the bowels of an ice cream factory, past a giant cow on ice
skates, and right up to the point where all hope seems lost. Could
the solution to this caper, though, be right in front of Arthur's
eyes? And why has D.W. been acting so funny lately? One thing's
for certain, Arthur is determined to get to the bottom of this case. Follow Arthur, Buster and all their friends through the streets
of Elwood City as they sniff out clues and chase after leads. . .and
learn a valuable lesson about friendship, teamwork and responsibility. Directed by Yvette Kaplan; Produced by Rick Rich. English, Spanish.
and the Chipmunks: Trick or Treason 66 min. Join Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore for this hilarious
Halloween adventure. Alvin wants to be accepted into the Monster
Club, but the Monster members seem to think its cool to be cruel. It takes Theodore's friendship to Michael, a misunderstood outcast
the other kids call Pumpkinhead, to show Alvin that being a true
friend is really a lot more cool than trying to be a popular Monster! There are plenty of laughs and surprises and music, including the
Chipmunk's rendition of the hit song "Monster Mash" to
make this a monstrously fun video any time of the year!
to Your Bunny L. 9 min. Young Freddy Bunny is having trouble learning in school, but he'd
rather play video games and watch TV anyway. With encouragement
and support from his teacher and the Book Fairy, his parents start
reading to him twenty minutes a day, and in no time he becomes a
happy book-loving super student. From an original script by Rosemary
Wells inspired by her book, Read to Your Bunny. Voices by
Diana Canova, David de Vries, Rosemary Wells and others. Music by
John Jennings, with an original song performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter. Directed by Michael Sporn. Book by Rosemary Wells Illustrator: Rosemary
AND RENEWING MEMBERS
Please welcome these new or renewing members
and visit their web sites.
produces entertaining educational music based CDs and DVDs that
promote English Language Learning for children primarily from 3
to 8 but also applicable to older ages - including young adults. Our products are branded under the Jazzles, JazzleVision and JazzleOke
brands and sell domestically and internationally. Our latest product,
Jazzles Clever Cartoons, is to be aired nationally across
China to develop children's English Language skills.
the Orchestra First Instruments is a new children's educational
series. Each episode of Tot-a-Doodle-Do! focuses on a theme and
contains six elements not currently found in one 30-minute children's
program. Follow-along with us as we entertain and guide your child
to use the skills they need in their everyday life such as proper
manners, how to prepare nutritious snacks, use their imagination
and get their daily exercise through singing and dancing. Geared
to children age 3-7.
Entertainment. MELEE's Home Entertainment mission is to be the
market leader in non-theatrical programming. They focus on each
release well beyond street date, with new creative, cutting edge
promotional and marketing campaigns.
OrganWise Guys, Inc.
Studios. The animators and artists of our company have graciously
donated their time to produce a series of hand drawn animated cartoons
to keep children safe. This series deals with subjects such as fire
safety, internet safety, abduction, obesity, childhood allergies
and much more. The cast of animated characters are adorable. All
films are designed for Preschool through grade 5.
Jumpstart's Read for the Record Event on August 24
difference in a young child's life -- set them on a path for success
during school . . . and life. Visit www.readfortherecord.org
for more information. As part of their contributions, the official
Campaign edition of "The
Little Engine That Could" was custom published (to include
reading tips from Jumpstart) by Penguin Young Readers, a division
of Pearson (Pearson also underwrote all publishing costs). Starbucks
will exclusively retail the book in more than 5,000 Starbucks stores
August 1 - 28 (while supplies last), with 100% of the $9.95 purchase
price going directly to support Jumpstart's work with at-risk children. American Eagle Outfitters will also be organizing readings and has
produced the official Campaign t-shirt.
Your Own Adventure Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
Life cereal debuts
it's cover with this film festival favorite character on its cover. Congratulations to all at Choose Your Own Adventure!
Offers Download-to-Own Deal
Content available for download will include episodes of Arthur,
Cyberchase and Fetch! Each episode is $1.99 for unlimited
playbacks. The downloaded content will include a spot encouraging
viewers to become members of their local PBS station. On Google,
the PBS content will be available at www.video.google.com/pbs.html. Viewers can also purchase episodes via the Open Media Network, a
non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the best of public
broadcasting and educational programming to the Internet on www.omn.org.
AND PARENTING NEWS
George TV Series Debuts Monday, September 4 on PBS Kids
Based on Curious George book series by H.A. Rey, the new daily series
is narrated by actor William H. Macy. Each episode includes two
animated stories that are followed by a short live-action segment
that shows real kids in activities that underline the theme of that
episode. The series is designed to spark the interest and curiosity
of preschoolers, while providing parents/caregivers with ways to
support kid's hands on science and math related activities.
Evergreen Film by Christine L. Pollock
retro is all the rage in the fashion world, why not in media, also? I pondered as I heard my children defending one of their favorite
shows (Andy Griffith) to a friend who is only interested current
movies. There is a wealth of information to
be garnered from media that has spanned generations. It is a priceless
moment when a parent or grandparent snuggles with their child/grandchild
and watches a classic film. While the child is learning about a
bygone era, the older generation reminisces about the first time
they saw the film. My daycare children are endlessly amused by the
fact that my husband saw the first Land before Time film
in the movie theater. Each time a new film comes out, the kids let
us grownups know, and we all enjoy the new film together.
In this fast-paced
world, it might be difficult to imagine that the child would want
to sit down with one of the slower moving stories of the past. I
challenge you to give it a try. At one point last year, as part
of a homeschooling effort, I showed my three boys several versions
of the film, Heidi, after we read the book. To my great surprise,
their favorite version was the 1937 version starring Shirley Temple. The next time we went to the local library, they found another film
starring Shirley Temple. They brought it home and thoroughly enjoyed
it. It was to our great delight that we discovered a Shirley Temple
film highlighted in the KIDS FIRST!® Film Festival. As we've reviewed
the title, my boys were asking questions about the actress. They
were surprised to find out that she was even older than I. We were
able to talk about Temple's political career, which led to an interesting
discussion on various child actors and what happened to them as
they grew older, along with the phenomenon of typecasting and how
actors fight that. Captain
January is available to Film Festival providers this fall.
title, we have in our Film Festival is Alice in Wonderland. This story comes to life in a way it never has before with jolly,
witty songs by Steve Allen and more than a dozen Hollywood stars. The cinematography is phenomenal. It is almost worth viewing the
film just to see the artistry of the animated dragon. It was so
realistic, my nine-year-old was asking if perhaps dragon's really
do exist. I jokingly responded by asking the children if they had
seen a story about it on Reading Rainbow, another classic
is always fun and interesting to see the new technology and edgy
stories emerge, sometimes it's nice to remember the mores of the
past. Actor Daniel
Roebuck put it rather well when he was talking about films he
wanted his children to see. Roebuck is concerned about the message
we are getting our children. Popular media such as a reality shows
make it seem like the only way to survive is a dog eat dog world.
a long day on the set, Roebuck was exhausted, but took the time
to go to a classic film festival. As he puts it, if people do not
show support for the films with good morals, they might become obsolete. Where do you go to find a classic films so you can support them
and their distributors? Even if you live in a rural area, it is
still possible. Our family finds a lot of the classics in the local
dollar stores. And, of course, you can go to the KIDS FIRST!® website
and find out when our film Festival is in your area. This site will
even tell you which titles are showing. Check it out at http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/festival.htm. Perhaps resurrecting the magic of evergreen film will ignite a positive
flame in the future of children's film. As writer Margaret Fairless
Barber sums up, "To look backward for a while is to refresh
the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime
function of looking forward. "
Dr. Toy's Tips on Use of Video by Stevanne Auerbach, PhD. /Dr.Toy
www.drtoy.com Smart Play /Smart
to go Back to School- The transition time of summer to fall
is a good time to prepare the mind for autumn. This is a good time
for reading, puzzles, games, construction projects, and learning
materials that reinforce skills that are needed to succeed in school.
The choices are great and the time it takes is very worthwhile.
A great KIDS FIRST!® title for little ones who are ready to
embark on the public educational journey is Mister
Rogers: Going to School.
- Make a Puzzle
paper, pen, pencil
go to craft
KIDS FIRST!® Film and Video Festival
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
August 15, 2006. Deadline. Call for Submissions: Current TV, in partnership with
the Third Millennium Foundation, launches Seeds of Tolerance
initiative encouraging viewers to submit short videos that tell
a story of tolerance. The grand prize is $100,000. Guest judges
for the summer-long contest are Paul Haggis, Edward Norton, Melissa
Etheridge and Margaret Cho, plus others. Submissions can be accepted
at Current's web site at www.current.tv/tolerance.
August 24, 2006. Jumpstart's Read for the Record Event on August 24. Visit www.readfortherecord.org
for more information.
& 12, 2006. Orlando, FL. Gina D's Reading Across America Program. Four Special School Performances at the Bob Carr Performing Arts
Center. Reserve Your Seats Now! $5 per child/person. Call Diana
at 407-260-2773 for more information.
1, 2006 The Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton, Tucson, AZ. The
28th National Media Market. The National Media Market presents
an exceptional opportunity for media professionals who purchase
for public libraries, universities, media/technology centers and
educational broadcasting to screen the newest and best quality motion
media from 55 prominent producers and distributors. Professional
Development sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions further
enhance the Market experience.
Boston, MA. 5th Annual Summit of the Coalition
for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Consuming Kids: Marketing
in Schools and Beyond. The summit will "bring together
distinguished scholars, activists, parents, and educators to discuss
how marketing undermines childrens health and well-being and
what we can do about it. The 2006 summit features a special focus
on marketing in schools. "
Canada's National Media Education Week. The first of its kind in
Canada, this week will highlight the importance of media literacy
and Web literacy as key learning areas in the information age. Read
Through the combined efforts of Corporations for Character, KIDS FIRST!® , and your generous donation, we can fulfill our mission
to provide positive, encouraging movies into each of more than one
million children's hospital beds. This effort will provide entertainment
for children while they are confined in a hospital. To support KIDS FIRST!® Cares, click
here. All credit card transactions are secure.
The Old Schoolhouse is the must have magazine for homeschoolers
and right now they are offering a deal that is hard to pass up. With your 2- year subscription you will get approximately $300 in
FREE homeschool materials - 19 complete gifts - and FREE shipping. Click
here or call TOS at 1-888-718-HOME. The Old Schoolhouse is the
magazine for homeschoolers. Please call today as gift inventory
is limited to the first 5000 new subscribers.
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 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: http://www.kidsfirst.org
or contact our office at 505.989.8076 or KIDS FIRST!®.
OUR MEMBERS' SITES ******************
Please visit our website for an up-to-date list of Coalition members
by clicking here: http://www.kidsfirst.org/kidsfirst/html/whomem.htm.
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Copyright 2002 by Coalition for Quality Children's Media, http://www.kidsfirst.org
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.
evaluates feature films, television programs, videos, CD-ROM, DVDs
and audio recordings. For an application form and application deadlines,
visit our website at http://www.kidsfirst.org,
call our office (505.989.8076).
Coalition for Quality Children's Media, 112 W. San Francisco St. , Suite 305A, Santa Fe, NM 87501.