A former educator, Levy created an award-winning PBS, produced an ACE-nominated television show, and managed an independent film production and distribution company in the mid-80s. The invasive impact of violent and biased media on children became the impetus, in 1991, for Levy to create KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, dedicated to promoting and nurturing quality children’s media as a vehicle for social change. Levy developed the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics initiative, a program that engages young people (ages 9 to 22) as entertainment reporters. These kids attend press screenings, red carpets, press junkets, site visits, and similar. They review all the latest films rated PG-13 or younger and interview talent on and off the red carpet. Their reviews are both on-camera and written. KIDS FIRST! has a robust YouTube Channel with more than 4000 videotaped film reviews and talent interviews and more than 100,000 visitors weekly. KIDS FIRST! Film Critics reviews reach more than 7 million people each month through the KIDS FIRST! website, social media, YouTube Channel, and radio show as well as in blogs on Huffington Post, GRAND Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Kidzworld.com, Kidsville News, and 50 additional online and print publications. KIDS FIRST! also produces a weekly radio show and a traveling children’s film festival.
Levy has written three books: “The New York Times / KIDS FIRST Guide to the Best Children’s Videos”, “A Parent’s Guide to the Best Children’s Videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs”, and “The Field Guide for Young Women: Finding Your Life Partner”. She is a frequent speaker at conferences, including the Kid, Youth, and Parent Power Conference, National Governor’s Association Conference on Quality in Education, Head Start Research Conference, Vice President Gore’s Family Re-Union Conference, Kidscreen Summit, and the conferences of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Family and Community Educators.