A CHRIST-CENTRED SUMMER SEASON AT SAT-7 KIDS
Summer is a great time to be a fly on the wall at SAT-7 KIDS. As children take a break from school, the channel’s team give their all to capture viewers’ attention – while also preparing for the coming year. In this exciting season, Channel Manager Andrea El-Mounayer took time out to share her plans.
Andrea El-Mounayer lets out a deep breath as she takes a seat. The head of SAT-7’s children’s channel has much to think of this summer – but she is very encouraged, too.
“We are busy the whole year round,” says Andrea, who has been with the channel from its earliest broadcasts. “This year especially so. But summer is the busiest time of year for SAT-7 KIDS.”
A TIME TO PREPARE
Children watch less television in their busy summer holidays. So, to carefully steward SAT-7’s resources, the channel’s flagship live shows take a three-month break every year.
The team uses this time to plan out the following year and to record as much as they can, while their young presenters are not in school. This month, they have been busy filming the new story-telling program Stories in the Attic. Bloom Boom and Puzzle, two SAT-7 ACADEMY-branded shows, are also in production.
And, in August, SAT-7 KIDS will begin production of SpaceNet, an update to the long-running news program As-Sannabel News.
A NEW YOUNG TALENT
SpaceNet will be presented by young YouTube star Marcos Kashouh, who is the son of Pastor Hikmat Kashouh of Resurrection Church, Beirut.
Andrea recalls the moment she discovered Marcos on YouTube.
“I saw his channel and I thought, he would be perfect,” she says, smiling. “But although I had met Pastor Hikmat, I had never met his son. Then, I met him by chance, and I said, ‘You are Marcos! You don’t know it yet, but we are going to work together.’”
GOING LIVE WITH GOD’S LOVE
While preparing for the coming year, SAT-7 KIDS must also make the most of every opportunity to share Jesus with young hearts during the summer. “We have to rework our broadcast schedule in a way that is attractive,” Andrea explains.
Getting this right takes all the team’s creativity and planning skills – and includes harnessing the power of social media. The popular teaching and worship program A Riddle and a Story and the beloved, long-running gameshow Bible Heroes have both been going live on Facebook video every week over the summer.
“It’s more casual, less formal,” says Andrea. “The Presenters talk to the kids, answer their questions, and give away gifts – all online.”
And the channel’s new social media strategy is working – visits to its Facebook pages are up by 75 percent this year.
GUIDED BY CHILD PSYCHOLOGY
The live episodes of A Riddle and a Story have also been re-edited into shorter repeats including songs, Bible stories, and drama segments. These are used both in the channel’s summer schedule and on Facebook.
“It is children’s psychology that dictates our decisions,” Andrea explains. “Kids love repeats! They love to feel they have mastered what they are watching. If they know all the words, a child feels like they have conquered the world.”
“GOD ALWAYS TOUCHES MY HEART”
And when those words are the message of God’s love for them, the impact is life changing.
“Your program brings me a shower of blessings,” said one viewer of the worship program Family of Jesus. “God always sends me messages and touches my heart through your program.”
For Andrea, the hard work of balancing good stewardship with programming excellence is more than worthwhile.
“This is what I love to do,” she says. “And I will keep on doing it.”