Friday, November 18, 2011

Through a Child’s Eyes on Metro Cable Network

Through a Child's Eyes Staying in the Twin Cities for Thanksgiving? Going to have a houseful of kids needing to be entertained? Metro Cable Network – Channel 6 is offered 30 minutes of respite for harried hosts.

Throughout Thanksgiving Week channel 6 will be airing the premier episode of “Through a Child’s Eyes.” The concept of the locally produced program is to help kids ages 3 to 13 find new worlds to explore in the Twin Cities. After checking out a location they rate it based on: 1) If they had fun; 2) Did they learn something; and 3) Would they come back.

The cast takes a hands-on approach to exploring each venue. The initial installment features the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which the kids rate a kid-friendly success. It can be seen twice on Thanksgiving Day at 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM.

The program is the brainchild of former newspaper executive Tom Losey. “I’ve always considered myself a story teller.”Tom Losey

His “stories” included features for his college newspaper and reporting about city council and school board meetings after he graduated. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sun Newspapers he created the Twin Cities chain of suburban newspapers marketing and promotional programs. After he left the newspaper world he went on to write business and finance plans for local businesses.

“In each case my goal was to find a compelling way to get the facts out to the reader,” Losey recollects. “I was good at it.” When other business opportunities removed the function of “Story Teller” from his portfolio, he concluded he really missed the challenge.

“I wanted an opportunity to go back to basic reporting, creating stories on a more a personal level, how I started out in the newspaper business.” He found what he was looking for at SCC-TV in White Bear Lake. Suburban Community Channels has been recognized, two years in a row, as best in class of the nation’s community access stations.

Like the score of other public access studios that dot the metro, SCC provides independent producers the equipment and facilities necessary to create non-commercial TV programs. The programs are then cablecast to the homes in a particular geographic area. SCC’s channel 15 provides programming for 12 northeastern suburbs from Grant to North Saint Paul.

After taking classes to learn how to use cameras, lights, and editing applications, Losey started working on the programs of other independent producers. He was soon bored working on the “talking heads” community affairs programming that make up much of public access fare.

When a fellow producer asked him to produce the field segments his show, Losey found his niche. “Outside covering classic cars, air shows, eateries, horses, and llamas.” He nods, “The kind of stories I longed to tell.”

Creating programming for children was a natural outgrowth of his age according to Losey. “I’m old enough that my kids have kids of their own. When Linda and I combined households we ended up with eight grandkids.”

Exploring the Big Building

Tillie and her cousins Nanna (Easier to pronounce than Rhyanna) and Ayden explore the Arboretum’s Big Build.  Artist Patrick Dougherty along with more than 80 volunteers and Arboretum staff built the two story stick palace in the spring of 2010.  It is made up of thousands of twigs, branches, and saplings woven or twisted together.  Not a single nail or peg was used in the entire structure.

On the occasions they find themselves with one or more sets of grandkids, he and Linda usually try to find someplace to visit where the kids can explore and learn new things. “In fact, the Arboretum is one of our favorite haunts for that reason.”

This summer they found themselves with two of the kids for a weekend. It dawned on Losey that a visit to the Arboretum through a child’s eyes might make for entertaining TV. Two grandkids were expanded to six, a couple of neighborhood kids were thrown in for seasoning, and “Through a Child’s Eyes” was born.

For more information about “Through a Child’s Eyes” and a schedule for all the Thanksgiving Week airings, join us on Facebook:


Tom Losey said...

Thank you for your kind words about our little program. With only a smidgen of prejudice, I believe “Through a Child’s Eyes” is the perfect holiday fare for the family get together. Channel 6 will be airing Episode 1 twice on Thanksgiving Day: 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM.

Tom Losey

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.