A new children’s radio service, developed in Pittsburgh, is bringing the timeless charm of radio to children and their families along with the latest in educational programming.
iQ Kids Radio
is a collaboration of WQED and SLB Radio Productions
, a family-friendly, commercial-free service that mixes education and entertainment for listeners for 24-hours each Saturday.
The concept is unique, leveraging the assets of PBS to provide trusted radio programming and the authentic voices of children, explains Larry Berger, executive director of SLB Radio, producer of the long-running Saturday Light Brigade.
The service is an expansion of the popular Saturday morning show. The programs were carefully developed, researched and vetted in terms of educational standards, he adds.
Programming features youth-created music, storytelling and news/commentary. Kids will learn during the day, boogie down with DJ Daddy Dance Party in the late afternoon and fall asleep at night to bedtime stories.
Soothing classical music plays through the night into the early morning hours.
"Kids and families need an alternative to what is currently available on the radio," says Berger. “We’re really looking to present authentic children’s voices in a way nobody has.”
The voices of the children is a unique aspect of the program. SLB works with thousands of children a year to record their original stories, says Jennifer Stancil, executive director of educational partnerships for WQED and co-director of the service.
“I think kids radio represents what public media can and should be doing to encourage kids to listen imaginatively,” she says. “Commercial-free radio (for children) isn’t a niche but a roaring highway that not many are filling.”
iQ Kids Radio airs between midnight Friday and midnight Saturdays. Listeners can tune in by visiting the website or streaming through the free TuneIn Radio app for smartphones and tablets.
The service will be free during the pilot phase of the project. It was made possible through seed funding from Junior League of Pittsburgh, a founding partner, with additional support from The Grable Foundation the James McCandless Charitable Trust.
Feedback is welcome through wehearyouiqkidsradio.org
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Larry Berger, SLB, Jennifer Stancil, WQED