Up to date information about children's entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Back from Vacation, Catching up with Media News

I just got back from two glorious weeks in Costa Rica – a place I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys traveling in Latin America. What wonderful people we met! Wonderful beaches, volcanoes, jungle, food and – my favorite – coffee.
So now, to catch up on the media news while I was away.

1. Did you read about Walt Disney announcing that it will no longer portray smoking in Disney branded movies? They are the first company to take such a stand. This ammouncement comes out two months after the MPAA introduced a new ratings system taking into account the use of tobacco when rating movies. Bravo for the Mouse folks!

2. Leonardo DiCaprio is coming out with a new movie on the perilous state of our planet and how to save it called 11th Hour. It’s a stunning documentary, packed with facts we human beings need to know to save our planet. It is the ultimate horror movie, action flick and feel-good movie all wrapped up into one. My dear Quaker friend, Arthur Kanegis, has written a review of it posted at http://www.scene4.com/. At the end of the article you can click on a link to read his interviews with the directors – the outstanding Conners sisters – Leila and Nadia. If you like the article, please feel free to forward it to your own list.

3. Sesame Street introduced its new Season goals with a strong emphasis on vocabulary. Sesame Street launches its 38th season on August 13, 2007 on PBS Kids. Every season focuses on a research-based curriculum to address needs of today’s children. This season’s curriculum is children’s literacy and language development.

Vocabulary is a critical element of language and literacy development that is often overlooked in early childhood education. Young children develop language and literacy skills during the early years mainly through language rich experiences such as meaningful conversations with parents and caregivers. As a result of many disparities between low-income and middle/upper-income families, there is a growing gap in literacy skills between children from these different economic groups. So, be on the lookout for it – starting next week.

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