SCEC NEWS ~ Winter 2002
News is a regular service for members and friends of the
Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children coalition.
SCEC's mission is to stop commercial exploitation
of children through action, advocacy, research, and
collaboration among organizations and individuals who care
IN THIS ISSUE
This month we welcome Enola
Aird and Bob Ahuja to our steering committee.
ENOLA AIRD: Enola G. Aird
is an activist mother. A graduate of Barnard
College and the Yale Law
School, she is currently an affiliate scholar at the
Institute for American
Values in New York City, where she established and
directs the Motherhood
BOB AHUJA: Roshan
(Bob) D. Ahuja is a Professor of Marketing at
Xavier University in
Cincinnati, Ohio. He has a doctorate in marketing
and his research interest
center around the ethics of using children in
marketing research, and the
role of children in family decision making.
SCEC steering committee
member Diane Levin will be featured
on ABC News 20/20 this
Friday evening (December 20) commenting
on the phenomenon of
sexualized toys for children.
Check your local
listings and tune in!
In response to protest
efforts directed at JC Penney, the chain store has
removed The Forward Command
Post war toy from their website.
The Forward Command Post is
a miniature house with partially bombed
out walls. It comes
complete with an American flag and other items to
create a fully outfitted
battle zone. All that's missing is the maimed
refugee family that to live
in the house!
It is manufactured by Ever
Sparkle Limited and recommended for
children ages 5 and up.
Thanks to the efforts of
grass roots groups around the country,
concerns about this item
have received widespread media coverage.
Another toy that J.C.
Penney should remove is one with the Orwellian title,
World Peace Keepers Battle
Station which is recommended for ages 3 and up.
It consists of a soldier, a
cannon, guns and “everything need to stage a battle.”
In a rather bizarre twist,
right underneath the toy, in bright red lettering,
is the slogan, “Gifts for
What They Love.” Since when to three year olds
love to wage war?
Check it out at:
If you want to complain
about the World Peace Keeping Battle Station and
congratulate them for
removing the Forward Command Post, contact the
JC Penney Corporate
Headquarters in Plano, Texas at (972) 431-1347.
Susan Linn reports that
when she called and described the Forward Command
Post to the J.C. Penney
employee who answered the phone, her response was
a spontaneous, “That’s
disgusting!” She said that she had seen the toy in
chain store and was
horrified by it, but was not aware that her employer
it as well. As they were
hanging up she said, “I’m going to march right in and
tell my boss what I think
Dads and Daughters: How to
Inspire, Understand, and Support Your
Daughter When She’s
Growing Up So Fast.
By Joe Kelly.
Broadway/Random House, 2002.
relationships are complex, but seldom examined
closely. Now, a new book by
SCEC member Joe Kelly fills the void with
DADS AND DAUGHTERS: How to
Inspire, Understand, and Support
Your Daughter When She's
Growing Up So Fast.
As the father of twin
daughters, the country's leading crusader for
father/daughter bond, and executive director of the
nonprofit, Dads and Daughters, Joe Kelly has his
finger on the pulse of the
most controversial issues fathers and
daughters face today. DADS
AND DAUGHTERS: How to Inspire,
Understand, and Support
Your Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast
candidly discusses key
issues like body image, marketing to kids, dating
and sexuality, substance
abuse, and the touch taboo between fathers
With a strong grasp of the
pressures girls face in our cultural
environment, DADS AND
DAUGHTERS helps fathers and stepfathers
understand the importance
of their involvement in their daughter's lives.
valuable book gives dads detailed advice that
can help them cultivate
stronger, healthier relationships with their
Available in bookstores or online at
Help children do something
about hunger and poverty
KIDS Can Make A Difference
P.O. 54, Kittery Point, ME
KIDS Can Make A Difference
is an innovative educational program for
middle and high school
students. The purpose of KIDS is to educate young
people about the root
causes of hunger and poverty and help them understand
that they can make a
difference in their communities and the world. Students
participating in the KIDS
program investigate why people are hungry in the
first place, what they need
to begin feeding themselves, and what we can do
to begin removing the
obstacles that prevent people from taking control of
their own lives. Uncovering
root causes is an empowering and hopeful
experience. Once young
people understand that ending hunger is possible, that
it is not caused by a
shortage of food but by a shortage of democracy, feelings
guilt, passivity and
cynicism are replaced by an exuberant, confident, and
clear-sighted desire to
For detailed information
about the program, teacher guide and newsletter,
please visit the KIDS award
winning web site at www.kidscanmakeadifference.org.
SPECIAL OFFER: When
you become a member of SCEC, we are pleased to
provide you with a FREE one
year subscription to the KIDS Newsletter.
The newsletter highlights
current hunger issues, showcases student initiatives,
experiences teaching the KIDS program, students’
making a difference in
their communities and world, and guest authors.
The current issue featuring
two articles on corporations and how information
about corporate influences
are supplied to students is of particular interest
in today’s economic
We received an email from
an irate father from Oregon whose daughter’s
school spirit and sense of
initiative were squelched by Pepsi. She intended
to raise money for her
cheerleading squad by selling custom bottled water
(bearing the name
“Titan” after her school teams).
His daughter is banned from
selling the water on school grounds by the
Pepsico Company, which has
an exclusive contract with her school.
Her father writes, “I
have been getting a quick education on what I was
generally apathetic about
before. I can tell you I'm pretty ticked off with
what I've found out.”
What he discovered is that, by ensconcing Pepsi as
a significant presence in
his daughter’s school, the beverage company is
garnering advertising worth
hundreds of millions of dollars. In exchange,
the amount of money per
child received by the school system is “the
equivalent of milk money
thirty years ago.” In other words–not much!
The story has received
national press and the Boyes family is fighting
back with help, in the form
of letters, phone calls and e-mails, from people
around the country.
In an interesting twist,
for those of you in similar struggles, one way they will
approaching the Salem
Keizer district school board is to point out to them that
their own no-tolerance drug
policy strictly forbids possession, use, transmission,
abuse, etc. of over the
counter caffeine tablets. Mr. Boyes reports that
is clearly stated as
notification of law enforcement and administrative
diversion or expulsion on the first offense. The problem
that a 20 oz. bottle of
Mountain Dew contains just a small fraction less caffeine
than a regular strength
No-Doze tablet. They will asked to resolve this paradox
as they are actively
pushing this and many other beverages high in caffeine and
have plans for increasing
consumption in almost any way they can.
For more information,
especially if you are in similar struggles about
commercialism in your
children’s schools, contact Gary Boyes
E-mails can be sent to the
following members of the Salem Keizer
district school board:
Chairperson Steve Chambers:
Vice Chair Mark Adams: email@example.com
As people in Seattle, Los
Angeles and communities around the country have
found, schools districts
can be responsive to organized expressions of concern
PBS Kids is partnering with
Mills Corporation, the shopping center developer who
coined the term “Shoppertainment.”
to create PBS Kids pavilions in shopping
centers around the country.
The pavilions will feature play equipment, visits
from PBS characters,
activities, Televisions playing PBS programs and will sell
T-shirts and other PBS
paraphernalia. In newer malls, the pavilions will be
attraction in a whole Kids
area featuring commercial shops and restaurants.
The first one is scheduled
to open near St. Louis in 2003.
Scholastic, Inc. has signed
an agreement with DreamWorks that makes the company
the primary publishing
licensee for the movie company’s animated feature films.
The centerpiece of the deal
gives Scholastic the rights to publish all novelizations,
coloring and activity
books, picture and storybooks based on DreamWorks’ next
five animated films.
Scholastic has acquired most world English-language rights
as well as Spanish-language
rights for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Latin
America. The first
book will be for Shrek 2.
Please let us know how
we’re doing. Any suggestions for the newsletter?
Anything you want other
people to know?
A coalition is only as
strong as it’s members!
FOR INDIVIDUALS: With a minimum $25 tax
deductible membership you receive:
a minimum $100 membership you receive:
All individual benefits
Organizational link from the SCEC webpage
Publicity for your events and activities
Opportunities to collaborate
should be made out to:
Baker Children's Center
B. Sweeny / SCEC
Baker Children's Center
Blackfan Circle, Boston, MA 02115
make a credit card contribution, please contact Abigail
Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.