April 2017

Five resources and tips for the best Screen-Free Week ever; Los Angeles school board votes to #StopMcTeachersNights; The commercialization of childhood is hurting our planet; Kids tell kids: “marketers are lying to you!”; Recommended reading and viewing

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In this issue: 

  • Five resources and tips for the best Screen-Free Week ever>
  • Los Angeles school board votes to #StopMcTeachersNights
  • The commercialization of childhood is hurting our planet
  • Kids tell kids: “marketers are lying to you!”
  • Recommended reading and viewing

Five resources and tips for the best Screen-Free Week ever

Screen-Free Week 2017 is just around the corner! From May 1-7, families, schools, and communities around the world will be taking a break from screens to spend more time daydreaming, playing, creating, and connecting with family and friends.

Here are five last-minute tips and resources to make your Screen-Free Week fun and memorable:

  1. Families Managing Media founder and mother of four Melanie Hempe shares her perspective on why Screen-Free Week is important. If you’re still on the fence about participating – or need a little inspiration to overcome the screen-free jitters – this is the post for you!  
  2. Our events list will help you find a celebration near you. Planning something? Send it to us, and we’ll add it to the list!  
  3. Looking forward to replacing screens with books? Screen-Free Week is also Children’s Book Week! Click here for a list of events at libraries and bookstores around the country. And check out this great list of children’s books about unplugging—perfect for libraries, teachers, and families. 
  4. To ease the transition from screen-full to screen-free, SFW veterans suggest planning lots of activities for the start of the week. This printable handout features 101 ideas to get you started. 
  5. Share your excitement with others! When you sign off social media for the week, don’t just go quietly into the bright, beautiful outdoors—tell everyone what you’re doing and why! Here’s some language and images you can use (click the images for full size):  

    I’m going screen-free with @CommercialFree May 1 – 7! You can too. Learn more at screenfree.org—or just unplug! #ScreenFreeWeek


Los Angeles School Board votes to #StopMcTeachersNights

McTeacher’s Nights are HISTORY in Los Angeles schools! Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted to ban the “fundraisers,” where teachers serve burgers and fries to students and families. This is a huge step in our joint campaign with Corporate Accountability International to shut down these marketing events once and for all: as USA Today reports, the decision sets an important precedent. Tens of thousands of parents, more than fifty teacher unions, and now the 2nd largest school district in the country have all sent a strong message to McDonald’s: student-teacher relationships should not be exploited to hook kids on junk food! 

The commercialization of childhood is hurting our planet

What’s the relationship between the environment and the commercialization of childhood? CCFC’s Josh Golin and Melissa Campbell explore the issue in their contribution to EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet, a recently released publication from the environmental advocates at Worldwatch Institute. Josh and Melissa’s chapter outlines the ways that kid-targeted marketing—and the unsustainable consumption and materialistic values it encourages—impact not just individual children and families, but our entire ecosystem. Read Josh and Melissa's chapter here, or order the entire book. 

Kids tell kids: “Marketers are lying to you!” 

Kids get tired of hearing adults say what’s not good for them, right? That’s why we love Where the Lies Are, a new film from a group of 9- to 14-year-olds from London. The young filmmakers visited an ad agency, checked out local shops, and uncovered for themselves the tricks that marketers use to get them—and their peers—hooked on junk food. CCFC’s Campaign Manager, David Monahan, chatted with some of these student documentarians to hear more about their project and find out what they’ve learned. Read his report and see the film—plus, get a teacher discussion guide—on our blog. 

Recommended reading and viewing