April 2014

Introducing CCFC’s Board of Directors; A Heartfelt Thanks to CCFC’s Steering Committee; A Big Win for Student Privacy; Screen-Free Week is Almost Here!; Limiting Junk Food Ads is Good; Commercial-Free Schools are Far Better; Brazil Bans Advertising to Kids Under 12; Recommended Reading; Book Review: Her Next Chapter

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Introducing CCFC’s Board of Directors . . .
We are proud to introduce CCFC’s inaugural Board of Directors: Enola Aird, Ranae DeSantis, Nathan Dungan, Jan Emlen, Kevin Hepner, Tim Kasser, and Doreen Miller. We look forward to working closely with these talented and committed individuals as we continue to strengthen and grow. You can learn more about our new Board here.

. . . And a Heartfelt Thanks to CCFC’s Steering Committee
We are deeply grateful to CCFC’s Steering Committee: Enola Aird, Kathy Bowman, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Jan Emlen, Kevin Hepner, Allan Kanner, Tim Kasser, Joe Kelly, Velma LaPoint, Diane Levin, Karen Lewis, Alex Molnar, Alvin Poussaint, and Michele Simon. The advice and shared wisdom of the Steering Committee, many of whom have been with CCFC since day one, has been instrumental to our success over the past fourteen years. Enola, Jan, Kevin, and Tim have moved to our Board of Directors, while Kathy, Nancy, Allen, Joe, Velma, Diane, Alvin, and Michele will continue to play an important role at CCFC as Senior Advisors.

A Big Win for Student Privacy
This month, inBloom, a Gates Foundation initiative to help corporations profit from students' most sensitive and confidential information, announced it would cease operations. inBloom planned to electronically share students' data -- including names, home and email addresses, test scores, racial identity, economic and special education status, and even detailed disciplinary and health records -- with for-profit corporations, without any guarantee that the information would be safeguarded.

CCFC is proud of the role we played in stopping inBloom. In our home state, we organized parents and coalition partners like the Massachusetts ACLU and PTA to prevent inBloom from taking hold. In other states, like Illinois and Colorado, we provided technical support to local activists and encouraged our members to email education officials and speak-out at school board meetings and hearings. In New York, we urged CCFC members to support the efforts of Class Size Matters, whose tireless organizing made the difference in ending that state’s participation in inBloom. Learn more about the inBloom victory here.

Screen-Free Week is Almost Here!
Screen-Free Week kicks off this Monday, May 5. Whether you’ve been planning for weeks or just decided to participate, here are some helpful tips and resources:

From building a fort in the living room to taking an early morning walk, check out our 101 Screen-Free Activities.

Happy unplugging!

Limiting Junk Food Ads is Good; Commercial-Free Schools are Far Better
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed new guidelines that could help limit junk-food marketing in schools. It’s a laudable effort -- but there’s a problem. As written, the USDA's guidelines inadvertently green light the practice of in-school marketing -- the first time any federal agency has done so.

Last week, CCFC filed comments with the USDA outlining the reasons why ending all marketing in schools is preferable to just limiting junk food ads. We urged the USDA to include the following in its guidelines to schools: “From a 'whole-child' perspective -- one that supports students’ cognitive, social and emotional development, as well as their physical wellbeing -- schools should be commercial-free zones.” More than 1,000 CCFC members have co-signed our comments to the USDA; to add your name, please visit http://org.salsalabs.com/o/621/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15571.

Brazil Bans Advertising to Kids Under 12
The Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights’ Council of Rights of Children and Teenagers ("CONANDA") has issued a resolution effectively banning all advertising to children under age twelve. The landmark resolution defines all advertising aimed at children as “abusive” and therefore illegal under Brazil’s consumer protection laws.

CCFC congratulates our sister organization, the Instituto Alana, which was the driving force behind the new regulation. While the ban is sure to face major challenges from industry, it nevertheless represents a landmark victory for kids. As Alana’s Pedro Affonso Hartung noted, “This is a historical moment -- a new paradigm for promoting and protecting the rights of children in Brazil.”

Recommended Reading

Book Review: Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More by Lori Day with Charlotte Kugler
Much has been written about how difficult commercialized culture is on girls growing up today. Sexualization and impossible body aspirations are just a few of the destructive values and behaviors marketed to young girls on a daily basis. Her Next Chapter suggests parent-child book clubs as a unique tool for moms trying to help their daughters navigate the difficult transition from little girl to young woman. Such book clubs are a great way to encourage bonding but they also provide a springboard for talking freely about issues and concerns facing girls today. Her Next Chapter provides a step-by-step blueprint for forming a mother-daughter book club. It also offers guidance for dealing with bullying, negative body image, gender stereotypes, and other 21st century issues for girls.