Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

PBS Online
Among the characters in PBS' "Dragon Tales"
is Zak & Wheezie, a two-headed brother and sister
dragon whose distinctly different sides must
learn to work together.

KHET turns weekends
to ‘Keiki Time’

By Tim Ryan


Several popular "how to" and adult information shows now in repeat broadcast weekend mornings on Hawaii Public Television will be switched to afternoons next month in favor of children's programs under the moniker "PBS Keiki Time."

KHET will move "This Old House," "Yankee Workshop," "Hometime" "Motor Week," and other shows in favor of 11 children's programs beginning Sept. 11 from 7 a.m. to noon, said Don Robbs, Hawaii Public Television executive director.

The children's shows, "Sesame Street," "Teletubbies," "Big Comfy Couch," "Barney & Friends," "The Puzzle Place," "Wimzie's House," "Theodore Tugboat," "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," "Dragon Tales," "Arthur" and "Zoboomafoo," will repeat an episode from the previous week.

Last year KHET cut its weekend local broadcasting time from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. due to budget cuts. Prior to last year's broadcast rescheduling, morning weekend programming was children's shows, Robbs said.

The station instead broadcast national PBS shows sent over cable. The cost-cutting measures have helped KHET to restructure its weekend broadcasting times, Robbs said.

"PBS Keiki Time" is designed to create entertaining learning opportunities for both children and adults. The broadcast will include locally produced fun facts for kids, informational tips for effective parenting, book reviews and a family activities calendar, Robbs said.

Providing guidance on the show will be a panel of early childhood development authorities, including Stephanie Feeney, early childhood specialist at the University of Hawaii, and Kalen Kitagawa, executive director of Read To Me International, who will provide insight into research on literacy programs.

A key component of the broadcast will be the PBS Keiki Club, designed to provide building blocks for the self-esteem of children. "It is a positive, first step in experiencing things and events outside the family and provides each child with a sense of belonging to that wonderful world out there," said Ed McNulty, HPTV's executive producer for children and youth.

For an annual membership fee, Keiki Club members will enjoy having their birthdays announced on the air and receive notices of special events and member-only activities.

"PBS Keiki Club" members also receive a free subscription to the Club's quarterly newsletter, which contains activities and information for the children and their parents.

"PBS Keiki Time" is co-produced by Jerri Chong and Edward J. Robello, also the creators.


PBS Keiki Time Schedule

Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 11

7 a.m. Sesame Street
Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and the rest of the "Sesame Street" gang deliver academic and social education that prepares kids for grade school. The show's curriculum has been set by academic research on preschoolers.

8 a.m. Teletubbies
This is the first series specifically designed for children aged 1 and up. Dancing, singing and bumping tummies, the Teletubbies' Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po are four technological babies who love each other very much and live happily together.

8:30 a.m. Big Comfy Couch
Children are encouraged to jump, skip, hop, dance, stretch and clean up as Loonette, a child clown, explores the world around the Big Comfy Couch with her doll Molly.

9 a.m. Barney & Friends
The highest rated preschool program on television. The purple dinosaur and his young friends share adventures featuring songs, dances and games that make learning fun for preschool children.

9:30 a.m. The Puzzle Place (Saturday)
This series helps kids celebrate diversity to appreciate the differences between people. Using a lively combination of song, story, comedy and puppets, "The Puzzle Place" takes a gentle approach to sowing the seeds of self-esteem, cooperation and respect for others.

9:30 a.m. Wimzie's House (Sunday)
This series for preschool kids presents the playful adventures of 5-year-old puppet monster Wimzie, her parents, her lively 150-year-old grandmother and her puppet monster friends. Together they learn the skills of caring and sharing at Wimzie's house a home daycare center unlike any other.

10 a.m. Theodore Tugboat (Saturday)
This live action/animated preschool series explores issues of feelings, fairness and friendship through the adventures of a stugboat named Theodore and his many floating friends in the magical Big Harbor. Denny Doherty, an original member of The Mamas and The Papas, is the HarborMaster.

10 a.m. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (Sunday)
Fred Rogers and his television neighbors have grown and changed, but the program remains true to its original purpose "to encourage human beings to be honest with themselves and with each other, and to become convinced that each one of us is a unique and precious part of our world."

10:30 a.m. Dragon Tales
A new and innovative series for children that features 6-year-old Emmy, her 4-year-old brother Max, and the young dragons they meet in Dragon Land. In their adventures together, they discover imaginative ways to approach life and its surprises.

11 a.m. Arthur
Based on Marc Brown's best-selling series of books, "Arthur" shows how Arthur and his friends use effective, age-appropriate, problem-solving skills. Each episode consists of two independent stories focusing on events central to children's lives. Whether it's facing down a bully, worrying about a new teacher or being the last person on earth to lose his baby teeth, Arthur and his friends solve their crises with imagination, kindness and a lot of humor.

11:30 a.m. Zoboomafoo
An energetic new series made for preschoolers. Zoboomafoo is all about that great moment of discovery when a kid meets an animal for the first time. The series teaches children how to care for the creatures that share our world and weaves music, songs, sounds and basic life lessons throughout the adventures.

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