Just For Kids
Just For Kids was started in 1987 by Major Tamara Parker who produced the program and was very popular until the show ended in 94. Tamera actively pursued the production to provide a program that her daughter and other Canal Zone children could watch. Tamera put in many long hours to produce the program. Others involved in the production of the program included Dave Hansen in 1990, Tracie & Ken Adams and numerous others in the news crews and master operations staff.
The show covered topics kids were interested in. After a few shows kids were brought into the studio and became the anchors of the new program. The first two kids were selected after Tamara held tryouts for the positions. The first two anchors stayed with the show for a while, became very polished and really did well, they were doing the intros and outtakes, interviews and other studio and field on camera shots.
The real credit goes to this one woman producer, director and editor, Tamera Parker, who put the whole show together tying up the edit bays for hours, on weekdays, nights and weekends. She was really dedicated. As the popularity of the show grew, (it was an experiment at first), the news crews were ordered to support various "Just For Kids" events by shooting video, taking the live van to cover events with the portable studio.
When we switched anchors, we had auditions and ended up with two great kids, Yadira Pulido and Miriam Very rough at the start, but very good after they settled into the hosting.
Every week it included a locally-produced feature package, a secret message (decoders available through SCN, of course), There was a Just For Kids community bulletin, that gave dates and times of events for our younger audience. Tamara made up a secret code that the kids got by sending a self addressed envelope. The code consisted of lines and dots. We would air a word or phrase and the kids would send in the answer using their code paper. It was a pain at first, until Mateo decided to to make it a font in the character generator and later on he also programmed it into the paintbox. There were also a couple of segments of banter. All this was mixed in with cartoons from the film library; the only ones we could show because of the broadcast restrictions were the Superfriends and Huckleberry Hound and Friends. The local segments were shot against the chroma key wall, and there was a background designed by Mateo Simons that was keyed in.
Sgt. Dave Barrette used to spend all week producing it. In '91-92, Just For Kids aired at one time on channels 8&10 ... and an hour later on channel 14. Swapping the tapes between board operators in Master Control could be a real adventure sometimes.
When LTC White came on board, we dropped the hosts and the local package right off the bat. A short while later we killed the secret message. By 1994, Just For Kids was a doughnut for Warner Brothers cartoons with two community calendars dropped in.
Once Tracie & Ken Adams left, the show was cancelled because it was becoming too manpower intensive.
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