Monday, April 16, 2012

Six Ways to Take Action in Your Community

Photo: Cynthia Gentry, USAIPA.org
Association for the Child's Right to Play
Does it disturb you that kids spend an average of seven hours in front of screens each day? Bothered that kids are exposed to violent media? Concerned about questionable media messages directed at kids and families? 

Ready to take action?

There are several organizations that help concerned volunteers make a difference regarding these issues in their local communities. Beginning a program can be as simple as downloading a PDF guide that will help you plan, organize and implement an event.

Whether your passion is promoting media management in families, increasing play time for kids, or bringing awareness to issues pertaining to kids and the media, change can happen. It can start with anyone - a parent, grandparent, educator, or concerned citizen. Pick your topic, take action, and help your community build stronger kids and families.

1. Write Corporate Leaders and Your Lawmakers

Speak out against a variety of current commercialization issues with guidance from Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood.

2. Organize a Community Play Day

Remind your community of the importance of creative play for young kids - without the screens. Download How to Plan, Organize & Implement a Play Day by IPAUSA.org.

3. Organize a Screen-Free Week

Encourage families to turn the screens off and have fun together! Register for a free Screen-Free Week Organizer's Kit by CFCC.

4. Host an Educational Film Screening

Spotlight the limiting portrayal of girls and women in the media by hosting a screening and discussion of the movie, Miss Representation. (Note: this might require a financial commitment unless you're able to commit to 100 tickets sold.)

Raise awareness of the commercialization of childhood by hosting a screening of Consuming Kids, a film from the Media Education Foundation.

5. Educate Parents

Bring education on media and technology issues directly to the parents, with programs like the Parent Media & Technology Education Program by Common Sense Media.

6. Educate Teachers

Share these kits with teachers: a Cyberbullying Toolkit by Common Sense Media, the Cyberbullying Prevention and Response Kit, or the Media Lit Kit by the Center for Media Literacy. And don't forget the Internet safety programs I shared last month in this blog. They can help teachers educate their students, too!

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