March 2017

Screen-Free Week is just one month away!; Two big wins for kids; EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet; Coming soon: CCFC’s newest screen time initiative; New Play and Toy Guide from TRUCE!; Irish campaign shines a light on junk food marketing; Recommended Reading

Newsletter HTML: 

In this issue: 

  • Screen-Free Week is just one month away!
  • Two big wins for kids
  • EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet
  • Coming soon: CCFC’s newest screen time initiative
  • New Play and Toy Guide from TRUCE!
  • Irish campaign shines a light on junk food marketing
  • Recommended Reading
  • Support CCFC

Screen-Free Week is just one month away!

Screen-Free Week can feel daunting if your family is going it alone—but the good news is, you never are! If you’re planning events, be sure to register them and let everyone know: “we’re in this together to experience life unplugged!” Enjoy creative play time, art, reading, hiking, nature, or anything you come up with together. There are no right or wrong activities when you’re reducing screens and increasing connections in your family and community. 

If you haven’t planned events yet, it’s not too late! We have great resources and all the support you need at www.screenfree.org. You can also send us an email with your questions and ideas. We’d love to hear what you’re planning and support your events. And be sure to check out our latest resource: books to get kids excited about unplugging!

Two big wins for kids

CCFC and our members just scored two big victories for kids! 

After a two-year campaign by CCFC, the NFL ended its controversial Rush Fantasy football game for children, which lured kids aged six to twelve with cash and prizes. In response to our initial request, the NFL previously had stopped awarding cash prizes and stopped promoting the game in schools. Now there's even better news: the NFL is ending fantasy football for kids altogether! Read more on our blog.

CCFC members also got results in protecting children from sneaky marketing when playing Pokemon GO, the location-based augmented reality ("AR") game produced by Niantic, Inc. The game requires players to visit real-life locations in order to capture virtual creatures—and while some sites are parks and landmarks, others are sponsored, paid for by companies like Starbucks and Sprint to entice players to their stores. More than 7,300 people signed petitions hosted by CCFC and our partners at Corporate Accountability International asking that kids under 13 be excluded from this marketing ploy. Niantic has now agreed: children will not be directed to sponsored locations as part of gameplay. With your help, we have set an important precedent with this campaign: if you want to use AR as a marketing tool, leave kids out of it! To learn more about this victory, click here.

Coming soon: CCFC’s newest screen time initiative

Are you a practitioner or educator who works with families to reduce children’s use of screens and other digital devices? Then we want to hear from you! We know talking to parents about screen time can be a difficult and sensitive topic, and keeping up with the latest research can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re launching a national network that will provide critical support for educators, practitioners, and advocates working directly with families to reduce to children’s screen time. Members will have the ability to share resources and best practices, collaborate across a variety of fields, and engage in professional development opportunities. If you are an organization or individual interested in becoming a charter member of this vital enterprise, please email our Screen Time Program Manager Jean Rogers at jean@commercialfreechildhood.org

EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet

On April 20th, the Worldwatch Institute will release its newest State of the World report, EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. The report features a chapter from CCFC’s Josh Golin and Melissa Campbell exploring the relationship between child-targeted marketing and ecologically destructive behavior. To celebrate the report’s launch, Worldwatch will host a symposium on earth education, and how teachers, parents, and administrators can help students navigate a changing world. For more information or to register to watch online or join in person, click here

New Play and Toy Guide from TRUCE!

Most parents and teachers never thought they would have to teach children how to play! Our friends at TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Childhood Entertainment) recognize that true child-directed, creative play is vanishing thanks to too much time with commercialized toys and media. TRUCE’s newly published toy guide illustrates the whys and hows of authentic children’s play with inexpensive, simple toys that encourage imagination. This is the latest in a superb series of practical guides for parents and teachers. Download the new TRUCE Play and Toy Guide, and explore their website for more great ways that real play helps real kids learn cooperation, self-regulation, problem-solving, and more!

Irish campaign shines a light on junk food marketing 

We love the Irish Heart Foundation’s new “Stop Targeting Kids” campaign, which exposes the tricks corporations use to get kids hooked on junk food. The campaign’s videos feature “brand managers” bragging about their most clever kid-targeting techniques. Stop Targeting Kids is hosting a petition calling on the Irish government to strengthen advertising regulations and protect kids from manipulative marketing. Check out the videos and share your favorites!

Recommended Reading