“Summer is the busiest time of year for SAT-7 KIDS,” comments Andrea El-Mounayer, the head of SAT-7’s children’s channel.
As children take a break from school, the channel’s team gives their all to capture young viewers’ attention – while also preparing for the coming year. The production team makes the most of this time by planning out the following year and recording as much as they can.
Their recent filming projects include a new storytelling program Stories in the Attic, along with SAT-7 Academy educational shows Bloom Boom and Puzzle. The channel hopes to draw in viewers with an update to the long-running popular news program As-Sanabel News, calling the re-imagined program SpaceNet. SpaceNet will be presented by young YouTube star Marcos Kashouh, who is the son of Pastor Hikmat Kashouh of Resurrection Church, Beirut.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
SAT-7 KIDS must 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 production 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 game show Bible Heroes have both been going live for the summer on Facebook® video.
“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.
Some live episodes are re-edited into shorter repeats that include songs, Bible stories, and drama segments. These programs are aired both on the television channel and on Facebook®. 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.” And when those words are the message of God’s love for them, the impact is life changing.
BACK TO SCHOOL
As the month of August progresses, parents in the US prepare to send their kids back to school. Many refugee families in the Middle East do not have the same option. Schools are not always available in the refugee camps. However, one thing that more than 99% of people in the MENA have access to is television. Television is the most used and trusted source of information in the region. SAT-7 aims to help refugees (those living outside their own countries) and displaced persons (those forced from their homes but still in their own countries) continue their education by offering programs such as My School, broadcast on SAT-7 KIDS. Its many episodes, packed with innovative content, are also available online via YouTube®.
What makes My School unique and attractive to young viewers, and adults alike, is that the content is delivered by well-qualified educators in an attractive and brightly colored classroom setting, using songs and animation to engage and encourage viewers to participate. To offer an interactive component, the channel’s social media team sets up live sessions with the My School teachers through YouTube® and Facebook®. Viewers online can send in questions on the topics being discussed and a teacher responds live on air with examples, pictures and demonstrations.
A survey carried out in 2018 by leading market research firm IPSOS showed more than 80 percent of parents of young viewers felt SAT-7 KIDS benefited their children. The numbers also revealed 1.5 million children are regularly watching My School, gaining knowledge and skills that will improve their chances in life.
Hearing positive feedback from SAT-7 KIDS viewers makes all the hard work worth it for the staff.
A girl from Algeria shares how My School is making an impact in her life, “I have a problem with forming sentences. I can read very well but I make mistakes when I write. Your channel is very precious to me. Thank you so much for your help.”
“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 financial stewardship with programming excellence is more than worthwhile. “This is what I love to do, and I will keep on doing it,” she says. “Thank God for illuminating our path and providing our team with the strength to continue showing His love to the children in the MENA. We pray He will use us more in the days to come, to have a deeper impact in the lives of kids and their parents.”
Help us continue to broadcast God’s love to children all over the MENA region. Summer giving tends to be lower, so we are especially grateful for your gift today to our ministry. You can provide a child with a full year of programs for just $1!
Thank you for your support in making God’s love visible to these children!