February 2016

CCFC to NFL: Stop Marketing Fantasy Football to Young Kids; Get Ready to Celebrate Screen-Free Week May 2 - 8; We’re Hiring!; Summer Media Institute July 5 - 8 at Wheelock College, Boston; CCFC at Upcoming Conferences; Advocates Call on Alcohol Industry to Stop Advertising to Kids; How to Start Your Own Toy Library; Washington State Senate Approves Media Literacy Bill; Recommended Reading.

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In This Issue:

CCFC to NFL: Stop Marketing Fantasy Football to Young Kids 
Last week, in partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling, CCFC sent a letter to the National Football League demanding that the NFL stop running a fantasy football game with valuable prizes for children aged six to twelve. The NFL promotes the game on its NFL Rush website and app for young kids, and even markets it in elementary schools. The league teamed up with “educational” marketing agency Young Minds Inspired to create and distribute a curriculum where third and fourth graders are urged to sign up for NFL Rush. Students are instructed to “check back often” to update their fantasy football roster in order to “win big prizes,” like an Xbox, a trip to Hawaii, and even $5,000 cash. It’s unconscionable that the NFL encourages children as young as six to engage in this adult activity, particularly now that 12 states and counting recognize fantasy sports as gambling. Research has found that fantasy sports participation is correlated with gambling-related problems, and addiction experts warn that fantasy sports should not be perceived as a “safe” or “harmless” form of gambling. Our letter has generated extensive press coverage, including from the Associated Press and Legal Sports Report. We hope the NFL agrees to discontinue this disturbing practice. 

Get Ready to Celebrate Screen-Free Week May 2 - 8
Screen-Free Week, the annual celebration when children, families, schools, and communities around the globe unplug for 7 days of real-world fun, is coming up May 2 - 8. This year’s growing list of endorsers includes over 50 organizations, such as the American Public Health Association, National Black Child Development Institute, National WIC Association, US Play Coalition, and Public Citizen. We hope you’ll join in the celebration! You’ll find lots of updated resources at screenfree.org to make your week easy to organize and a blast to celebrate, including a step-by-step planning guide and Organizer’s Kit, handouts, activity ideas, 2016 posters and t-shirts, and much more. If you already know you’re going screen-free, register your week today to tell us about your plans (even if they’re preliminary) and inspire others to get onboard. And be sure to follow Screen-Free Week on Facebook and use the Twitter hashtag #ScreenFreeWk to stay up-to-date as the week approaches.

We’re Hiring!
CCFC is hiring a Development and Communications Director. We’re looking for someone to lead our fundraising efforts to expand our organizational capacity, and to design and implement a new communications strategy that will reach new and more diverse audiences. Does this sound like you or someone you know? Please click here for the full job description and instructions for how to apply.  

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. Learn more and pre-register here

CCFC at Upcoming Conferences
You can also find CCFC staff at several upcoming events. On April 9 - 11, we will exhibit with Corporate Accountability International at the National School Boards Association Annual Conference in Boston as part of our effort to stop McTeacher’s Nights. On April 16, Melissa Campbell will participate in a panel discussion about media and citizenship at the ACME Action in Media Education Summit 2016 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. And on April 16 - 17, David Monahan will attend the Network for Public Education National Conference in Raleigh, NC. We hope to see you at one of these exciting events!

Advocates Call on Alcohol Industry to Stop Advertising to Kids
A coalition of public health advocates, including CCFC, is calling on the alcohol industry to strengthen and enforce its advertising codes to prevent youth from viewing inappropriate and harmful alcohol ads. The effort, which is being led by Commercial Alert, comes on the heels of new research by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health that shows that the alcohol industry’s current advertising codes are weak and not being enforced. The alcohol industry has long opposed government regulation of its advertising by insisting that it can be trusted to regulate itself. To urge the industry to clean up its act, please click here.  

How to Start Your Own Toy Library
Are you interested in learning how to set up a toy library in your community? Then join our friends at Center for a New American Dream for a free webinar Wednesday, March 2, at 1 PM Eastern. You’ll hear tips and insights from individuals who have started thriving toy libraries—borrowing places that are springing up around the globe as a way to reduce waste and build community while providing kids with toys and playtime. You can learn more and register here

Washington State Senate Approves Media Literacy Bill
Earlier this month, the Washington senate approved S 6273, a bill that aims to integrate media literacy into the state’s schools. This success is due in large part to the work of Media Literacy Now, an organization that was launched to put media literacy on the public policy agenda by working at the state and national levels. The Washington bill, which passed the senate 48-0, now moves on to the state House of Representatives.

Recommended Reading