April 2016

Screen-Free Week is Almost Here!; A Fourth Grader Speaks Out About Screen Time; You Did It! Hello Barbie is a Flop; CCFC Meets with NFL; League Scraps Fantasy Football Curriculum; Stop McTeacher's Night Action Center; Passion for Public Education on Display at 2016 NPE Conference; Summer Media Institute July 5 - 8 at Wheelock College, Boston; Recommended Reading & Listening

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In This Issue:

  • Screen-Free Week is Almost Here!
  • A Fourth Grader Speaks Out About Screen Time 
  • You Did It! Hello Barbie is a Flop
  • CCFC Meets with NFL; League Scraps Fantasy Football Curriculum
  • Stop McTeacher's Night Action Center
  • Passion for Public Education on Display at 2016 NPE Conference
  • Summer Media Institute July 5 - 8 at Wheelock College, Boston
  • Recommended Reading & Listening
  • Support CCFC

Screen-Free Week is Almost Here!

"I saw my 9-year-old daughter laying on the floor, just daydreaming. I immediately thought, ‘Oh no, she is bored, maybe she could…’ then I stopped myself and just let her lay there. She wasn’t bored, just deep in thought. We don’t always have to be doing something!"
 - Kim G., Ivins, UT

It’s just four days until the start of Screen-Free Week and it’s not too late to join the fun! Visit www.screenfree.org for everything you need for a great Screen-Free Week, including activity suggestions, ideas for community-wide events, pledge cards, certificates of achievement, and more. And while it’s always a good idea to plan some activities, particularly early in the week as kids and grownups transition off screen-based entertainment, Screen-Free Week veterans recommend leaving time for unstructured play and daydreaming! 

Still on the fence about participating? From resetting priorities and connections to helping children discover what real play is, here are 5 Reasons to Consider a Screen Break.

A 4th Grader Speaks Out About Screen Time

If you need some Screen-Free Week inspiration, we love this great poem by Oola, a 4th grader in Illinois. Oola decided to tackle the screen time issue when her teacher (a CCFC member) assigned activist poems. We also love that when we posted the poem on our Facebook page, Kate Hughey, a teacher at Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, North Carolina, was inspired to share it with her 4th grade class during their Screen-Free Week! 

You Did It! Hello Barbie is a Flop

Great news! Bloomberg News reports that sales of Mattel’s Hello Barbie are extremely weak. Mattel only shipped 10,000 units of Hello Barbie, compared to the typical 250,000 units for a hit toy. That’s a remarkable downgrade for what was widely predicted to be the hot toy of the holiday season. CCFC’s members played a big role in this—45,000 people signed our petition urging Mattel not to release the doll, countless others shared our Hell No Barbie: 8 Reasons to Leave Hello Barbie on the Shelf far and wide, and you awarded Hello Barbie the TOADY Award for worst toy of the year. Through these efforts, along with extensive media coverage of our campaign, we convinced parents to leave the creepy, eavesdropping doll on the shelf! Read more about our successful campaign here

CCFC Meets with NFL; League Scraps Fantasy Football Curriculum

In February, CCFC sent a letter to the National Football League demanding that they stop promoting a fantasy football game with valuable prizes to children aged six to twelve. The NFL features the game on its popular website for children, and even created a school curriculum to get kids interested in fantasy football. This month, NFL attorneys came to Boston to meet with CCFC and hear our concerns. We conveyed that it is unconscionable for the NFL to entice children to engage in an adult activity. Research shows that fantasy sports participation is correlated with gambling-related problems. 

Though we didn’t reach an immediate resolution, we are pleased to report that the NFL informed us that they would no longer promote fantasy football in schools, and has since taken the curriculum offline. We look forward to continuing our conversation with the NFL, and we will keep pressuring them to stop promoting all forms of gambling to children. Stay tuned for further updates! 

Stop McTeacher’s Nights Action Center

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Stop McTeacher’s Nights Action Center. On McTeacher’s Nights, McDonald’s enlists teachers as brand ambassadors to sell junk food to students and students’ families. Our new Action Center is a one-stop shop for educators, parents, students, and concerned community members who wish to learn more about McTeacher’s Nights. It features information about what McTeacher’s Nights are and the growing movement to oppose them, data on how little these marketing events masquerading as fundarisers actually earn, and what parents and educators can do to stop them. The Action Center also includes suggestions for alternative fundraisers that don’t exploit teachers or undermine students’ wellbeing. 

Passion for Public Education on Display at 2016 NPE Conference

CCFC’s David Monahan attended the National Conference of the Network for Public Education (NPE) in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 16 and 17. The theme of this year’s conference was “And Justice for All: Strengthening Public Education for Each Child.” NPE supports robust funding of our public schools, and the opportunity for every child to participate in a full and rich curriculum. David was inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication on display at the conference, and you can read his report here.

Summer Media Institute July 5 - 8 at Wheelock College, Boston

If you’re concerned about how media and technology impact the lives of children and adolescents, don’t miss the Summer Media Institute at Wheelock College July 5 - 8. For over 20 years, the Summer Media Institute has provided education and training for students, educators, parents, health professionals, and others interested in counteracting the harmful effects of media. This year, Mass Media Literacy will join CCFC Senior Advisor and Wheelock professor Dr. Diane Levin in leading the Institute, which will focus on helping young people develop a critical approach to media. The training will include breakout sessions for developing media literacy curricula for all subjects and K-12 grade levels, as well as a presentation by CCFC Executive Director Josh Golin. Continuing education credits are available. For more information and to register, click here.

Recommended Reading & Listening: