Our families come to us not only by birth but by choice. Along with having my own three (adult) children, I am also the proud “Mom” of nieces, nephews, and the children of friends.
Many of you know how it is. Bonds are formed and we find ourselves attending the games, plays, concerts, and presentations of our friends’ kids with the same enthusiasm their parents have. We ache when they are hurt and are filled with pride at their accomplishments.
And so, I present one of my other “kids” as this week’s Woman of Wednesday: Kristelle Lavallee. Kristelle is one of those people who truly prepared for the future. The job she trained for in college didn’t quite exist yet. No matter. When the world was ready, so was Kristelle.
Kristelle wanted to work in children’s media. She worked her way through a Masters’ Degree and even got to intern on the PBS television program, Word Girl. While she would have liked to continue working in television, mentors advised her to first get a few years of teaching under her belt so Kristelle followed their advice and took a position at a private elementary school in Boston.
So, you’re thinking, what’s new about that? Children’s media has been around since The Little Rascals movies. Educational programming started decades ago.
Here comes the interesting part. Kristelle now works for Boston Children’s Hospital Center on Media and Child’s Health. One of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals has its very own “mediatrician.” (You can learn more about Dr. Michael Rich media expert and director of Children’s Center on Media and Child Health here: http://cmch.typepad.com/mediatrician/ ).
Kristelle is now a staff member in a field that, some ten years ago, didn’t have a name. Now there’s an entire field dedicated to how media affects children and their health.
In my last couple of blog entries I’ve been writing about age-appropriate literature. Literature often gets translated into film. Serendipity (and her mother, Sally) brought Kristelle’s recent work to my attention. Her blog entry discusses another version of keeping one’s audience in mind:
Take a minute and read Kristelle’s post. You might be quite surprised to learn who makes the decision about those little rating letters that get attached to films. And, you’ll see why the department Kristelle works for/with is becoming so important.