America’s Children

Upcom­ing Ini­tia­tive: America’s Children

• In pre-production development •

Project Ratio­nale: How we CAN make our homes, schools, and neigh­bor­hoods a more nur­tur­ing and safe envi­ron­ment for ALL of our chil­dren is on everyone’s minds.

America’s Chil­dren, the pro­posed multi-hour PBS Series will devote itself —comprehensively—to dif­fer­ent sub­ject areas affect­ing the qual­ity of life of our chil­dren. 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.

For the first time MPC is using crowd­sourc­ing to help under­write one of our new projects, America’s Chil­dren. Please help sup­port this most impor­tant pub­lic tele­vi­sion series by donat­ing at Indiegogo. Click here to donate and learn how you can help to turn our project into a reality.

Pro­gram top­ics will include:

  1. the role and impor­tance of fam­ily, school, and community;
  2. access to med­ical care for all children;
  3. fac­ing the chal­lenges of unem­ploy­ment and homelessness;
  4. good health through proper diet, nutri­tion and exercise;
  5. the chal­lenge of child­hood obesity;
  6. re-inventing the built envi­ron­ment to pro­mote health­ier and safer life-styles;
  7. reach­ing out to those suf­fer­ing from the impact of vio­lence, poverty, racial dis­crim­i­na­tion, abuse, unequal jus­tice, and envi­ron­men­tal injustice.

How, for exam­ple, can a ten-year old boy named Thomas, liv­ing near the port of Long Beach CA, be cured of the asthma that plagues his every breath and those of his class­mates? His fam­ily can­not move; the sur­round­ing trans­porta­tion econ­omy engulf­ing his com­mu­nity relies on fur­ther fos­sil fuel expan­sion; greater soot and car­bon will be fun­neled into the air; more black tar will be wiped off the kitchen table hourly; Thomas will need greater med­ical inter­ven­tion; and the state will cut back its edu­ca­tion allot­ments? Even if there were a neigh­bor­hood park, wouldn’t it be more unhealth­ful for him to play there? Will his indoor seden­tary lifestyle con­tribute to his grow­ing obe­sity? Is Thomas a lone case? Or does his exam­ple, cloned across the coun­try in mil­lions of sim­i­lar trou­bling instances, truly describe our nation’s sit­u­a­tion? Are there alter­na­tive ways in which the young Thomases of our coun­try can seek and find help and guid­ance? How do we as a com­mu­nity and as a nation stop this down­ward spiral?

Find­ing “best prac­tice mod­els” around the coun­try that have dealt with these crit­i­cal, inte­grated issues affect­ing our great­est nat­ural resource will be the task of this broad­cast, edu­ca­tion, and community-based out­reach project on the State of America’s Chil­dren. The future of our chil­dren can­not be for­feited. What can we tell them we are doing? What will they tell us they want? 

Like Edward R. Murrow’s land­mark doc­u­men­tary Har­vest of Shame before it, America’s Chil­dren is meant to call atten­tion to the cri­sis of indifference.

As with Design­ing Healthy Com­mu­ni­ties, And Thou Shalt Honor, and Edens Lost & Found, America’s Chil­dren will include edu­ca­tional and community-based out­reach activ­i­ties linked to local PBS affil­i­ates; aca­d­e­mic cur­ric­ula meant for high schools (pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment), col­leges, and med­ical schools; a PBS com­pan­ion book; com­mu­nity action guides; inter­ac­tive web­site; a national pub­lic­ity and pro­mo­tion cam­paign; a multi-volume video resource library devoted to all aspects of children’s health and well-being; and a series of regional and local tele­vised town hall meet­ings to be aired as follow-up pro­grams after the ini­tial broad­cast of the 4-hour national PBS series.

Our lead inves­ti­ga­tors and con­sul­tants for the project are 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

Dr. Redlener is pres­i­dent and co-founder, along with singer-songwriter, Paul Simon, of The Children’s Health Fund, a phil­an­thropic ini­tia­tive cre­ated to develop health care pro­grams in some of the nation’s most med­ically under­served urban and rural com­mu­ni­ties. He is also asso­ciate dean, pro­fes­sor of Clin­i­cal Pub­lic Health and Pedi­atrics, as well as direc­tor of the National Cen­ter for Dis­as­ter Pre­pared­ness at the Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity Mail­man School of Pub­lic Health. In his role as pediatrician-child advo­cate and pres­i­dent of The Children’s Health Fund, Dr. Redlener has pub­lished, spo­ken and tes­ti­fied exten­sively on the sub­jects of health care for home­less and indi­gent chil­dren, child abuse and neglect and national health policy.

Click here for America’s Chil­dren Exec­u­tive Sum­mary.

Click here to donate at Indiegogo.

Go back to Upcom­ing Ini­tia­tives page.