Site URL: KidsFirst.org
Content: Kids First, the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, aims to teach children critical viewing skills while also acting as a rating/endorsement agency that labels media as child-appropriate.
Design: There is a lot going on at this site. Everything—images, buttons and links—looks as though it was put in a blender and shot at the screen. Once users get past the jarring layout, they will find great content.
Visitors won’t find much in the way of explanation on Kids First. Instead, they encounter a vertically scrolling content box and a series of story links running down the page. A limited primary navigation bar appears on the left side of the screen.
Review: Kids First evaluates, rates and endorses children's films, DVDs, CDs, TV shows and games using volunteer, community-based juries of adults. The group also includes children in the rating process, which is a big differentiator from other rating sites. Kids First takes the stance that these materials are designed for kids, so young people should have input into ratings of appropriateness.
The site helps adults recognize the importance of teaching kids to identify outstanding media programming. In addition, the site’s articles, reviews, and video and film listings are designed to develop students’ critical eye toward media.
Bottom Line: Kids First not only offers guidance regarding choosing media for classroom use, but also can assist with media-related lessons.