November 2012

Vote Now for the Worst Toy of the Year!; Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education; Register Now: CCFC’s 8th International Consuming Kids Summit; New Publication: Healthy Kids in a Digital World; Tell the FTC: Help Parents Protect Children Online; Recommended Reading; Support CCFC's Year-End Campaign

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In this issue:


Who Will Win the Dreaded TOADY? Vote Now for the Worst Toy of the Year!

Votes are pouring in for CCFC’s 2012 TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. Created to highlight troubling toy trends, the TOADYs are CCFC’s tongue-in-cheek response to the Toy Industry Association of America’s annual TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. We have selected five "exceptional" finalists, culled from industry “hot toy” lists and the multitude of 2012 toys promoting precocious sexuality and/or branded entertainment and/or electronic wizardry at the expense of children's creative play.

The polls close next Wednesday, December 5th at midnight so be sure to visit http://commercialfreechildhood.org/TOADY2012 today. And don’t forget to lobby your friends and family to vote for your selection. We’ll announce the winner on December 6th.


Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education

Smart boards. Smartphones. Tablets. E-books, apps and more. The rapid influx of new screen devices and software poses a special challenge for the early childhood community and parents of young children…that’s why CCFC partnered with our friends at the Alliance for Childhood and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment (TRUCE) to create Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young children, technology and early education, the first guide designed to help early educators make informed decisions about whether, why, how, and when to use screen technologies with young children.

Facing the Screen Dilemma was warmly received when it premiered at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference this month. And while the guide was designed for educators, parents will find the relevant research and practical tips helpful as they face the daunting task of raising children in an increasingly digitally complex world. You can download your free copy at http://commercialfreechildhood.org/screendilemma or read more in this great review from Education News.


Register Now: CCFC’s 8th International Consuming Kids Summit

Registration is now open for CCFC’s Consuming Kids Summit: Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers, to be held in Boston on March 21-23. Register now to take advantage of early bird rates! Join CCFC as we host leading activists, scholars, and authors for the only conference devoted to stopping the commercial exploitation of children. Our 2013 summit will focus on CCFC’s four core strategies for limiting children’s exposure to the harmful effects of commercialism: reducing screen time, corporate campaigning, protecting commercial-free spaces for children, and advocating for policies that limit marketers’ access to children.

Confirmed presenters include Reverend Billy, Alex Bogusky, Diane Levin, Makani Themba, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Tim Kasser, Mike Lanza, Susan Linn, Bob McCannon, and Michele Simon. For complete summit information including presenter bios, scholarship information, and logistics, please visit http://commercialfreechildhood.org/event/summit2013.


New Publication: Healthy Kids in a Digital World

CCFC is proud to announce the publication of Healthy Kids in a Digital World: A strategic plan to reduce screen time for children 0 to 5 through organizational policy and practice change. The plan is the result of a year-long project funded by Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives and is a road map for working with major organizations serving children and families—with a special focus on low-income communities—to address the unprecedented time that children spend with screen media. CCFC is thrilled that leading organizations like Head Start, WIC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Voices for America’s Children have joined us in this important effort. You can read our three-year plan for infusing communities with messages about reducing screen time and promoting creative and active play at http://commercialfreechildhood.org/healthykidsdigitalworld. 


Tell the FTC: Help Parents Protect Children Online

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is an important law that requires websites to obtain permission from a parent or guardian before collecting or using personal information from children under age 13. But the rules were written in 1998, long before Facebook, mobile apps, and the intensive tracking and targeting of children online. So the Federal Trade Commission has proposed new updates to COPPA. The FTC’s commonsense proposal will empower parents to safeguard their children, but industries that profit from exploiting children online are lobbying hard to weaken it. Next week, CCFC and our friends at the Center for Digital Democracy, Common Sense Media, and Public Citizen will be submitting petitions to the FTC urging the agency to hold firm to their proposal. So if you haven’t don’t so already, please tell the FTC: let’s help parents protect their children online. (And to learn more about the proposed changes, click here.)


Recommended Reading

In the CCFC Blog, Healthy Media Choices’ Mary Rothschild “Questions the New Normal.”

CCFC Steering Committee Member Michele Simon says, “It’s Time to Stop Marketing Food to Kids.”

The New York Times’ Matt Richtel reports that teachers are increasingly worried that their students’ use of digital media affects attention and learning.

Nashua, New Hampshire says no to in-school ads.

The Washington Post asks, “When is a kids’ online game actually an ad?”


Support CCFC's Year-End Campaign

We rely on you because we will not compromise our commitment to children by accepting corporate funding. All donations of $150 or more between now and December 31 will be matched. To make your tax-deductible donation, please click here.