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

Grandparents Day! Free Subscription to Grand Magazine

September 6th, 2014

GRAND_20140910_hires_cover.jpgAttention all Grandparents!  Did you know, September 7th is National Grandparents Day?  It’s a day of recognition for the huge contribution grandparents make to the family and society. We urge you to celebrate the experience with KIDS FIRST! & GRAND Magazine.  GRAND is the magazine just for grandparents, with information and inspiration we need to get the most from this important life stage.

GRAND is a digital magazine…a real and “green” magazine delivered by email, and it’s absolutely free for you!  To mark their 10th Anniversary, GRAND is giving all KIDS FIRST!  supporters free subscriptions.  Really.  No credit card…no billing. Free!

Click Here to receive 12 bi-monthly issues packed with news you can use.  Be among the first to get the 10th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September featuring National Geographic marine explorer, Dr. Sylvia Earle.
Know someone else who loves being a GRANDparent?  Forward this now and let them in on the fun.

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Deadline Extended for Endorsement and Film Festival Enries to July 15

June 25th, 2014

We have extended You have til July 15 to submit your films, DVDs, audio recordings, apps, TV shows and e-books for a KIDS FIRST! endorsement or for consideration in our KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Don’t delay, do it today. The sooner you get it to us, the quicker you get your endorsement.

KIDS FIRST! has been supporting quality children’s media for 23 years and is the most highly respected media endorsement program in the country. Unlike an awards program which limits the number of winners, every title that meets our criteria and is approved by our kids’ juries receives an endorsement. Our base-line criteria includes:

NO gratuitous violence or abuse
NO inappropriate sexual behavior
NO bias in terms of race, gender, culture or religion
NO condescension toward children
NO replicable unsafe behavior

KIDS FIRST! Endorsed Titles Receive

  • The right to use the KIDS FIRST! endorsement seal and rating on all promotional and packaging materials..
  • A unique title landing page on the KIDS FIRST! website featuring reviews by our jurors, your trailer or sample clip, cover art and link to your website to purchase.
  • Consideration for a KIDS FIRST! Best Award
  • Coverage on the KIDS FIRST! Radio Show, KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions (100,000 lilsteners)
  • Promoted in KIDS FIRST! News (45,000 readers/mo)
  • Promoted on KIDS FIRST! Social media (450,000 reach)

For more information, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org/submit-a-title/

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Subscribe to our Blog on Huffington Post

April 22nd, 2014

We are thrilled to announce our new KIDS FIRST! blog on Huffington Post. Please, go check it out and subscribe, comment and share. Please do it today and pass it on to your friends and family. This is a big deal for KIDS FIRST! and gives our kids a whole new audience to reach!

Here’s the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kids-first/

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Spend a Week Viewing and Reviewing the Latest Films

April 14th, 2014

If you have a 10 to 15-year-old in your life who loves films and dreams of being on the red carpet, KIDS FIRST! has the perfect opportunity. Your tween can participate in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Boot Camp this summer in New York City/Brooklyn at Zing Revolution and Silver Spring, MD at Discover Communications for an experience they will never forget.

Give your child the opportunity to build self confidence and learn more about behind-the-scenes aspects of the film industry as they critique the latest films, learn to write reviews, practice interview techniques, improve on-camera skills, visit with industry professionals and are coached by seasoned professionals. All campers will have the opportunity to join the KIDS FIRST! Film Critic team of reporters.  Lara Lavi, managing partner at Zing Revolution comments, “We are thrilled to offer our ZING REVOLUTION HQ in Brooklyn to KIDS FIRST! As a Board member and fan of the organization we love seeing young people nurtured like this.”

Each week-long boot camp will meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Locations include:

  • July 14 – 18, 2014 – Silver Spring, MD, Discovery Communications (DCI World Headquarters. One Discovery Place Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Aug. 4 – Aug. 8, 2014 – New York City/Brooklyn, Zing Revolution (140 58th Street, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn, NY 11220)

Leading the KIDS FIRST! teaching team is Ranny Levy, founder and president of KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, a former television producer, educator and long-time children’s media advocate.  Documentary filmmaker, Nancy Kenney brings years of teaching experience to the team and a practical knowledge of how to inspire students. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Nancy co-founded the Children’s Peace Initiative and produces documentary films. Terry Solowey, former assistant director of outreach for Sesame Street Preschool Education Program and manager of outreach for Thirteen/WNET brings additional years of experience in media education. Rounding out the team is Janet Davidson, and EQUITY/SAG actor and DGA director with more than 200 episodic and 20 telefilms credited to her including Earth 2, Cagney & Lacey, Soul Food, Judging Amy and Any Day Now.

The KIDS FIRST! Film Critic’s program, now in its fourth year, has received acclaim from publishers and educators alike. The reviews, both written and videotaped, by the team of youth reporters reach an audience of more than 7 million monthly through affiliations with broadcast, print and online publishers including Huffington Post, Kidsville News, Working Woman, Kidzworld.com, HDnet Movies KidScene, LA Parent, Westchester Parent and many more.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org. Please act soon, because space is limited. Tuition: $459. There is a limited number of partial scholarships available.

About:  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camp is a program of the 23-year-old, national, nonprofit organization,  Coalition for Quality Children’s Media  whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. For more information visit www.kidsfirst.org.

About: Zing Revolution: Zing Revolution is the industry leader in innovative technology and pop culture product development. Zing has the largest image offering in the world for music, fashion, art, television, movies and animation for premium 3M vinyl skins for consumer electronic accessories for over 300 electronic devices, home décor, extreme sports board skins and more. For more information visit www.zingrevolution.com 

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Women’s Media Center Report Finds Women Still Underrepresented, Misrepresented in U.S. Media

March 20th, 2014

WomenMediaCenter.jpgThe U.S. media have exceedingly more distance to travel on the road to gender-blind parity, according to a report released today from the Women’s Media Center.

While noting barriers broken by top women in media like Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer and Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, WMC’s 2014 Status of Women in U.S. Media Report notes a troubling status quo and, in some places, a slipping back in time.

Sports news coverage remains overwhelmingly white and male, even as women’s sports and women sports fans are surging, the report says. Moreover, women of color — who are spotlighted in this report for the first time —are among those who have lost ground in recent years.

“The media is failing women across the board,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. “The Women’s Media Center produces the annual Status of Women in U.S. Media Report to provide an overview of the role of women in media and thereby in society. It is a road map for where we are as a society and where we need to go for women to achieve an equal voice and equal participation. The numbers tell a clear story for the need for change on every media platform.”

WMC released the report today just before an afternoon panel discussion on “Women, Media and Leadership,” being held in conjunction with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Karen Finney, host of MSNBC’s “Disrupt with Karen Finney” is moderating the panel. Panelists will discuss the report and examine the gender disparities, challenges and opportunities for making women more visible and powerful in media.

Using an avalanche of new surveys, studies and reports, the Women’s Media Center report examines the representation of women in newspapers, online-only news sites, television, radio, social media, video games, film and television, sports news, newsmakers and corporate/technology leadership.

Click here to download the report.

Here are highlights from the 2014 report:

As newsroom staffing declined 6.4 percent from 2011 to 2012, the overall tally of women staffers continued to hover at 36 percent, a figure largely unchanged since 1999. Nevertheless, the count for women of color continued its more extreme fluctuations.

The number of women in radio news jumped 8 percent from 2012 to 2013, narrowing one of the historically widest gender gaps in the news industry. However, elsewhere in broadcast news, there were, as examples, losses in female on-air talent and broadcast managers.

White men continued to dominate the ranks of Sunday morning news talk show guests, except on a single MSNBC show with a black female host.

Two women—1.09 percent—were among the 183 sports talk radio hosts on Talkers magazine’s “Heavy Hundred” list. The Top Ten among Talker’s news talk show “Heavy Hundred” included no women.

More than 150 print publications and websites covering sports—an arena whose editors are 90 percent white and 90 percent male—were slammed with an “F” in an Associated Press Sports Editors-commissioned study.

Over a five-year period ending in 2012, the 500 top-grossing movies had 565 directors, 33 of whom were black and two of that 33 were black women.

Women represent 28.8 percent of speaking characters in the top-grossing films in 2012.

Only six percent of the top 100 films in 2012 hired a balanced cast of women and men.

For production of the 250 top-grossing domestically made films of 2013, women accounted for 16 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors, slightly lower than the 2012 and 1998 figures.

According to a two-month snapshot in 2013, men wrote 82 percent of all film reviews.

Women snared 43 percent of speaking parts in prime-time TV, according to the latest study, up from 41 percent previously. Those women, however, tended to be much younger than their male acting counterparts.

More white women but fewer women of color have been directing prime-time TV shows but the overall numbers for women has remained virtually unchanged.

The report was researched and written for the Women’s Media Center by Katti Gray, veteran journalist and custom content producer. Cindy Royal, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University in San Marcos reviewed it. Cristal Williams Chancellor, media relations manager of The Women’s Media Center and senior producer for Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan, edited the report.

For more information go to http://www.womensmediacenter.com/pages/2014-statistics

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Key Findings from Families’ Education Media Use in America:

February 13th, 2014

NMDOH.jpgFollowing is summary from the recent report on Families’ Education Media Use in America released by the New Mexico Dept of Health. You may also want to see and hear what their experts (Dr. Javier Aceves, Dr. Janis Gonzales and Dr. Neal Horen) and parents have to say about Toddlers and Screen Time.  http://nmhealth.org/phd/mchdaytwo.shtml

Key Findings from Families’ Education Media Use in America:

1. Nearly half (44%) of the screen media 2- to 10-year-olds use is considered educational by their parents (56 minutes out of a total of 2:07 screen media per day). Eight in ten children (80%) use educational media at least once a week, including a third (34%) who are daily users.

2. Most parents think that their child has learned from educational media. Among parents of weekly educational media users:

a. More than half (57%) say their child has learned “a lot” about one or more subject areas (e.g., reading/vocabulary, math, or cognitive skills) from educational media.

b. Fifty-four percent say their child “often” takes specific actions as a result of their exposure to educational media, such as talking about something they saw (38%), engaging in imaginative play based on it (34%), asking questions about it (26%), or asking to do a project or activity inspired by it (18%).

3. Educational media use occurs most frequently among very young children (1:16 a day among 2- to 4-year-olds), with a large drop-off in use as children get older (:50 a day among 5- to 7-year-olds, and :42 a day among 8- to 10-year-olds). As children get older, the amount of time they spend with screen media goes up (from 1:37 to 2:36 a day), and the proportion that is educational goes down (from 78% to 27%).

4. Children spend far more time with educational TV (an average of :42 a day) than they do with educational content on other platforms such as mobile devices (:05), computers (:05), or video games (:03). For every subject except math, parents are more likely to say their child has learned a lot about it from educational television than from any other platform. Educational content on mobile devices was ranked lowest in learning by parents in every subject area.

5. Parents don’t believe their children learn as much from educational media about science as they do about other subject areas. Nineteen percent of parents say their child has learned “a lot” about science from an educational media platform, compared to 37% for reading and cognitive skills development and 28% for math.

6. Across every platform and almost all subject areas studied, Hispanic-Latino parents are the least likely to say their child has learned from educational media. For example, among Hispanic-Latino parents of weekly educational media users, 63% say their child has learned a lot or some about math from computers, compared to 91% of Black and 79% of White parents.

7. Many children have access to and are using electronic reading devices. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of 2- to 10-year-olds now have access to either an e-reader or a tablet device. However, only half (49%) of all children with access to such a device have read or been read to on it. On average, children now spend :05 a day with e-books, compared to :29 a day reading in print. Young children (2- to 4-year-olds) with e-platforms in the home are just as likely as older children (8- to 10-year-olds) to have used them (49% and 53% respectively, not a statistically significant difference.)

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