Imagine This! is a 'little radio playground' for Regina children in isolation during pandemic
CJTR Community Radio has children-only programming from 9 a.m. to Noon CST each day
Each week, eight-year-old Ever Olaechea Payant grabs her microphone and her recorder, then sets out to do interviews.
The young interviewer talks to people about almost everything under the sun.
"I really like talking with people. And I like the feeling of knowing more stuff about the people," she said.
Olaechea Payant's interviews are one of the segments on CJTR Community Radio's Imagine This! kids programming.
Paul Dechene, a CJTR volunteer, said Imagine This! started when Amber Goodwyn reached out to him in March and asked for his help creating a new program to help entertain kids.
"The idea was basically do whatever sort of like goofiness we were doing around the house already but turn it into a sort of radio content," Dechene said.
🕚At 11am on ‘Imagine This Music’, Ilse, Aksel and Charity will be talking, singing, reading, and playing music that’s all about fun, rainbows, and celebrating Pride! Hear about why the rainbow flag 🏳️🌈 matters to their queer family! <br>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqrkids?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqrkids</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/reginakids?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#reginakids</a> <a href="https://t.co/wqU15RAUdL">pic.twitter.com/wqU15RAUdL</a>—@CJTR_Radio
The programming officially launched on March 24. It features shows for kids from 9 a.m. to Noon CST on 91.3 FM, on the CJTR app or streaming online.
Programming included one child doing a series of geocaching episodes, another doing five-minute radio hits, Olaechea Payant doing her interviews and Dechene's own family doing different stories and a long Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) game.
Dechene's son Dash said he likes how he gets to spend a lot of time working with his dad while in self-isolation.
"We only hang out when we watch TV but this is a thing where we could hang out, not watching TV," Dash said. "I just wish that we do it, me and my sister and my dad, we continue to do this more often — because I actually find it very fun."
Dash said his favourite program was the DnD — a game that they have been doing radio updates on throughout the pandemic — even if his sister didn't always understand how the game worked.
"We kept on talking about the different names of bridges named after monsters and [his sister] said they were named after mythical creatures. And me and the guys were talking to each other about these bridges and we're just like all surprised that she said 'mythical.'"
At 11am on ‘Imagine This Music’ - It’s the Monkey Show!🐒 There has been a lot of monkey business at Nora’s house this week. Monkeys jumping on the bed 🙉, swinging from the monkey bars 🙈, and eating all the bananas! 🙊🍌 Join us today for some monkeying around! <a href="https://t.co/eaIJxVjW3Q">pic.twitter.com/eaIJxVjW3Q</a>—@CJTR_Radio
Dash said he hopes they can continue making the shows long into the future.
"In my playing time and when I pretty much don't have anything to do, we can do a radio bit," Dash said.
Olaechea Payant's interviews air Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with Monday's being a replay from the previous week. Picking a favourite is impossible, she said.
"I would say all of them because they're all different in some sort of way, but they're all neat and cool and they all have different answers and they all have different jobs," she said. "So I don't think I could pick because they're all really good."
She said she listens to her interviews on the air and sometimes critiques herself. She said she may have a future as a journalist but also wants to protect animals.
Today, shortly after 9am 🕘, our kids program ‘Imagine This!’ will magically transform into 🖍‘Doodle This!’, ✏️with Erika! She will tell stories, give you some drawing ideas as well as playlist recommendations about today’s theme, ‘Family’.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqrkids?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqrkids</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/reginakids?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#reginakids</a> <a href="https://t.co/oGSpiKDz24">pic.twitter.com/oGSpiKDz24</a>—@CJTR_Radio
About a dozen children have contributed content so far, Dechene said, but he's looking for more to become involved.
"I just want kids to realize that radio is something that they can do themselves," he said. "It's not like something you have to wait until you're growing up and have gone to four years of university before you can be on the radio."
"It's kind of like a little radio playground for all the kids who want to get involved," Dechene said. "So I'd like to see kids get inspired and join us."
People can contact radius@CJTR.ca if they would like to get involved.