H.C.R. NO.














URGing public and private agencies to encourage their parent clients to turn on closed captioning when their children watch television.




     WHEREAS, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, two-thirds of infants, toddlers, and children under the age of six watch an average of two hours of television while kids and teens from seven to eighteen years old spend nearly four hours a day in front of a television screen; and


     WHEREAS, television has replaced the time children spend reading books, causing agencies such as the National Education Association to take action; and


     WHEREAS, in 1998 the National Education Association started the "Read Across America" program in an effort to motivate children to read instead of watching television or playing video games; and


     WHEREAS, while television opens up new worlds of entertainment and information to children with pictures and sound capturing their attention, the absence of a reading component restricts this medium as a learning tool; and


     WHEREAS, while originally developed for the deaf and hard of hearing, closed captioning also has the capability of helping anyone learn by bringing reading to television; and


     WHEREAS, in 1986, researchers Koskinen, Wilson, and Jensema noted:


"Captions are reading material.  They can turn television into a moving story book, a steady stream of written language presented with both video and audio reinforcement.  Viewers can see words on the screen, hear them spoken, and see them put into visual context.  One of the most exciting potential applications of closed captioning is its use as an educational tool."; and


     WHEREAS, research has shown that closed captioning has the ability to enhance vocabulary, reading speed, word association, and spelling; and


     WHEREAS, closed captioning is a free service provided by the television industry, and most televisions purchased after 1993 already have the capability to display closed captioning; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature urges all public and private agencies to encourage their parent clients to turn on closed captioning while their children watch television; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Superintendent of Education, Director of Health, Director of Human Services, Chairperson of Child and Family Service, Chairperson of Catholic Charities Hawaii, Chairperson of the Partners in Development Foundation, Chairperson of Parents and Children Together, President of Hawaii Literacy, and the Executive Director of the American Association of Retired Persons.









Report Title: 

Television; Use of Closed-Captioning For Children