August 2015

Stand Up for Student Privacy; Thanks to Activists, Target Stops Labeling Toys as for Either Girls or Boys; (Re)Introducing Shara Drew; Raising Humans, Not Consumers: A New Action Kit From New Dream; Book Review: The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money; Recommended Reading, Viewing, and Listening

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Stand Up for Student Privacy
We’re at a crucial juncture in our efforts to protect student privacy. Schools are increasingly moving their operational and educational functions to the cloud. And that leaves sensitive student data—which may include information like student names, addresses, social security numbers, test scores, disciplinary records, disabilities, and sensitive medical information—vulnerable to hackers and misuse by marketers. A host of bills have been introduced in Congress to protect students’ sensitive information, but many of these bills don’t provide enough protection for children and families. And the companies that profit from the commercialization of student data are fighting to ensure there is no meaningful student privacy reform. Will you urge Congress to incorporate five key principles—including no commercial uses—into any law or policy regarding personal student data? Please visit: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/621/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=18327

Thanks to Activists, Target Stops Labeling Toys as for Either Girls or Boys
In a wonderful testament to the difference our voices can make, Target is removing the gendered "boy/girl" labels from its toy aisles. The company will also stop using pink and blue on the back of its shelves to separate its toys as for either boys or girls. Activist and mom Abi Bechtel was appalled to walk into Target and see a sign that differentiated between "Building Sets" and "Girls' Building Sets." Her tweet at Target went viral with thousands of others speaking up. After two months of national conversation, Target announced this month that it would make the changes. In this Washington Post piece, Rebecca Hains explains why this important announcement is a “culmination of the activism of countless parents, educators and critics” who don’t want children’s play to be limited by marketers.

(Re)Introducing Shara Drew
We are thrilled to announce that Shara Drew has returned to CCFC this summer as Associate Director. From 2009 to 2013, Shara was CCFC’s Program Coordinator and played a huge role in our growth and successes. After two years caring full time for her (first one, then two) young sons, Shara’s commitment to helping parents protect children from commercialism has never been stronger. In her new role she is responsible for communications and member engagement, among other things. Welcome back, Shara!

Raising Humans, Not Consumers: A New Action Kit From New Dream
Our friends at the Center for a New American Dream have released a new action guide packed with suggestions for pushing back against excessive advertising in your home. The Kids Unbranded Action Kit is full of practical tips for reducing screen time, increasing family time, and developing sane habits around money and consumerism. To download your free copy, please visit http://act.newdream.org/page/s/kids-unbranded-action-kit.

Book Review: The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money
For many parents, talking to their children about money is so difficult that they avoid the subject altogether. In The Opposite of Spoiled, New York Times personal finance columnist Ron Lieber makes a convincing case that when we duck these conversations, we miss important opportunities to model financial behaviors and, more importantly, impart lessons about our family’s values.

Lieber’s book features tips on topics ranging from allowances, to charitable giving, chores, and part-time jobs. It also includes great discussions on the role of advertising in fostering materialism in kids—and what parents can do to lessen its impact. The Opposite of Spoiled also includes real-world stories from parents who are raising their children counter-culturally, including our favorite section: “Antimaterialism Ideas from the Professor of Materialism,” CCFC Board member Tim Kasser.

Recommended Reading, Viewing, and Listening