At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, there was a need for information about the virus and its impact that focused on families and children. Although the news outlets have covered COVID-19, the content has been focused on and for adults. Very little, if any, has been created that speaks to the children directly and focuses on the needs of parents to explain in simple and child-friendly ways the influx of information to their children. South Florida PBS realized the need to create this type of content, share it and deliver it in many forms to the South Florida Community, via broadcast, social media and by partnering with local government, non-profit, and commercial entities. The distribution was key because we also wanted to reach the underserved communities that do not have access to WiFi.
The first series of KidVision Healthy Habits spots (when the pandemic began) educated and encouraged children to adopt healthy routines, offering instruction on how to wash their hands properly and encouraging them to eat healthy snacks and get plenty of exercise at home. They also explained some of the new words associated with coronavirus which they were hearing from adults and television, such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘contagious’.
The second series, KidVision Healthy Habits Q & A featured South Florida PBS KidVision, Miss Penny answering children’s questions about the many changes in their lives due to the Coronavirus. We produced these spots by using Zoom to be able to record the children in their homes and thus allow them to ask Miss Penny their questions. Miss Penny, then, provided answers. Sample questions include: Why do I have to wear a mask? Why can’t I see my friends? When will I go back to school? These spots range from 30 seconds to a minute and have aired during the PBS Kids program block as well as been distributed via social media on all South Florida PBS platforms.