Common Sense Media to Honor Innovators Making a Difference for Kids in Education, Media, and Technology

Ninth annual awards co-hosted by Ali Wentworth at the Kennedy Center will celebrate LeVar Burton, ABC’s Modern Family, Dr. Mark Edwards, Sen. Edward J. Markey with Rep. Joe Barton, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller

Common Sense Media
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping kids, parents, and teachers thrive with media and technology, today announced the honorees for the 9th annual Common Sense Media Awards, to be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013.

Over the years, Common Sense Media has honored some of the most innovative minds in entertainment, public policy, and education technology, from former President Bill Clinton to filmmaker George Lucas to Sesame Street's Elmo. This year's honorees include:

  • Dr. Mark Edwards - superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District and a pioneer of 1:1 computing in public schools; will receive the award for Educator of the Year.
  • LeVar Burton - actor, educator, entrepreneur, and co-founder of RRKidz, who has worked to improve children's education through innovative uses of storytelling, media, and technology; will receive the Then and Now Learning with Media Award.
  • ABC's Modern Family - the culturally defining TV sitcom that provides an honest and hilarious look into the lives of a truly "modern family"; will receive the Best Family Media Award.
  • Senator Edward J. Markey and Congressman Joe Barton – co-chairs of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, who worked together on the Do Not Track Kids Act; will receive a joint award for Public Policy Leadership.
  • Senator Jay Rockefeller - chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and a stalwart for children's protection; will receive the award for Lifetime Achievement Award.

"This year, Common Sense Media is honoring a group of innovative educators, actors, and lawmakers who are making children's lives better through creative uses of media and technology," said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. "From pioneering digital learning in public schools to establishing and strengthening the building blocks for a secure and prosperous future for children, this year's honorees are improving the way that kids engage in the 24/7 digitally connected world."

Along with Steyer, this year's ceremonies will be emceed by actress, comedienne, TV producer, and bestselling author Ali Wentworth. Wentworth has appeared in major motion pictures including It's Complicated and Jerry McGuire and as a frequent guest, host, or commentator on such programs as The View, Larry King Live, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She hosts on online show called Daily Shot, writes a column in Marie Claire magazine, and is the author of the recent New York Times best seller Ali in Wonderland. The audience attending this year's Common Sense Media Awards will include influential guests representing the worlds of education, government/public leadership, industry, and business.

To learn more about the 9th annual Common Sense Media Awards, visit

About Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to:

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