What We’d Like: America’s Children Speak is meant to call attention to the crisis of indifference. How we CAN make our homes, schools and neighborhoods a more nurturing and safe environment for ALL of our children so that they can achieve the greatness they deserve is the one thought on everyone’s mind today.
What We’d Like: America’s Children Speak, the proposed multi-hour PBS project, will devote itself ---comprehensively and holistically---to different subject areas affecting the quality of life of our children, through their own eyes. The project will highlight best practice solutions from around the country and the world. The key to the program are our children themselves, acting as on-location journalists or on-camera subjects. We see the world from their point of view.
Program topics will include:
- reaching out to those suffering from the impact of violence, poverty, racial discrimination, abuse, unequal justice, and environmental injustice;
- the role and importance of family, school, and community;
- access to medical care for all children;
- facing the challenges of unemployment and homelessness;
- achieving good health through proper diet, nutrition and exercise;
- the challenge of childhood obesity;
- re-inventing the built environment to promote healthier and safer life-styles;
- how, when combined, these calls to action can lead to greater educational opportunities and fulfillment for our young people, providing them the tools to achieve their rights under our constitution.
We will try to discover what enables some children to be resilient and surmount the odds stacked against them.
Our lead investigators and consultants for the project are pediatricians Richard Jackson, M.D. Chair and Professor of Environmental Public at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health as well as host of public television’s Designing Healthy Communities; and Irwin Redlener, M.D. President of the Children’s Health Fund and Professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
The Series will be the impetus for a crucial conversation between parents, children, educators, law enforcement experts, informed citizens, and experts in the fields of pediatric medicine, juvenile justice, child psychology, public policy, and welfare. The Children’s Health Fund is one of the country’s authoritative resources concerning the state of America’s children and informs the discussion among policymakers, professionals and advocates for our most valuable resource.
What makes the Series unique is that it will be produced through the EYES of our children who have a vested interest in its imperatives:
- Feature real stories of our children and the problems they face;
- Provide them with the technical means to capture their own stories with their own POV, unencumbered but gently guided by our production staff;
- Use children’s commentary as a narrative thread to explore the issues;
- Use adult insight/expert commentary to introduce and frame the issues;
- Illustrate “best practice public health and safety models,” showing what IS working for kids and why;
- Include guides to positive action and resolution for the challenges presented.
Viewers will hear from youth aiming for college, or barely able to complete high school. We will get a young person’s view of childcare, foster care, home life, community and school. How it feels to grow up homeless, to be raised by gay parents, divorced parents, grandparents, or no parents or role models at all.
Our television broadcast component will be the “rock in the water,” but our streaming web platform would provide the ripple effect, offering ongoing waves of trans-media information that we could refresh when necessary. For example, our website will offer downloadable action guides, teachers’ guides, coalition-partner activity schedules, best practice profiles, streaming media & film clips, book reviews, interactive blogs, and links to informational databases, among other sources.
Where do YOU come in? Why do we need YOUR help?
Our project will be implemented in two stages.
Stage One involves Research & Development.
Stage two involves production. The production budget for a 4-hour series (two 2-hour programs), including web site production, outreach and promotion/publicity, assessment and evaluation, and the creation of the various ancillary products (Companion Book, Video Resource Library, DVD, educational curricula). The initial funds reaised will get us started and prove to foundations and individual philanthropists that there is a groundswell of support for making all of our children's lives better, no matter where they come from and what their background is. After all, they are all our children and they are our future.
We need YOU to help us get started and make a difference.