Washington -- In order to help children learn to decipher
the different kinds of programs that are available on television, the National Cable
Television Association and the National PTA last week announced that they will distribute
a new set of videos to schools and libraries nationwide.
Directed at separate age groups, the three videos are
designed to teach children to watch television critically.
"A good way to [teach children about television] is to
sit with them and comment," said Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.), at a Capitol Hill news
conference televised live by The Learning Channel and attended by NCTA president Decker
Anstrom, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and representatives from the Girl Scouts of the United
States of America and the National PTA.
Greenwood said it is important for parents to explain to
their kids the commercial value of television and how to distinguish between entertainment
shows and advertisements.
Designed to help parents explain the different kinds of
television, the "TV Smarts for Kids" series contains three different videos
geared toward three age groups: five to seven; eight to 11; and 12 to 17.
The video for young children is hosted by "Sharon,
Lois and Bram" of TLC's Skinnamarink TV. It is designed to teach children
about the difference between make-believe and real people and between events and
The second video, aimed at the pre-teen group, is hosted by
Irene Ng of Nickelodeon's The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Children are
encouraged to look at the different elements that television programs use to create
emotional reactions in viewers, including lighting and color, camera angles, sound effects
and editing techniques.
The last video, created for teens, encourages young adults
to prioritize the television shows that they watch and to supplement their free time with
Distributed free-of-charge, the videos are available by
contacting local cable companies, the Girls Scouts or the National PTA.
States News Service