Saskatchewan

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.

CJTR Community Radio has children-only programming from 9 a.m. to Noon CST each day

CJTR's Imagine This! is children's programming done by kids from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on 91.3 FM. (Submitted by Risa Payant and CJTR/Twitter)

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. 

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 Dechene holds some plants with their roots for a gardening bit he and his family did on the Imagine This! kids programming. (Submitted by Paul Dechene)

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.'"

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. 

Ever Olaechea Payant idoes interviews for The Ever Prairie Show, one of the segments on the Imagine This! kids programming put on by CJTR Community Radio. (Submitted by Risa Payant)

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. 

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. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heidi Atter

AP/Journalist

Heidi Atter is a journalist working in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. She started with CBC Saskatchewan after a successful internship and has a passion for character-driven stories. Heidi moved to Labrador in August, 2021. She has worked as a reporter, web writer, associate producer and show director so far, and has worked in Edmonton, at the Wainwright military base, and in Adazi, Latvia. Story ideas? Email heidi.atter@cbc.ca.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now