Alexis Bumah, 12, slides her mom’s work headset over her ears. At her home in Dayton, Ohio, Alexis can hear the voice of Eshaan Mani. Eshaan, 14, is using his gaming headset to call in from Houston, Texas. The TFK Kid Reporters are eager to begin. They’re about to cohost the pilot of a brand-new weekly podcast series, TIME for Kids Explains.
Over three days of recording sessions in April, Alexis and Eshaan played a game, interviewed a journalist, and talked about current events. They also recorded silly sound effects and a song. It was “a lot of fun,” Alexis says. “We did more than 100 takes.”
Anne Richards works for Pinna, a company that makes podcasts for kids. She’s the executive producer of TIME for Kids Explains. After editing the pilot, Richards and her team tested it online with kids. “That helped us in figuring out how we wanted to shape the series,” she says.
The result? A weekly news show that’s different from other podcasts. “It’s kids talking to kids, not kids being talked at by a bunch of adults,” Richards says. “It’s a really interesting, digestible , different way to hear about what’s going on in the world.”
A New Way to Learn
Each week this school year, the Pinna team will work with TFK Kid Reporters to record and edit an episode of TIME for Kids Explains. The kids will conduct interviews with TFK writers and delve deeper into stories that appear in the magazine.
Andrea Delbanco is TFK’s editor in chief. “Kids have different listening and learning styles,” she says. “We’re excited that, in addition to the stories that we write, there’s a way for kids to listen to and learn about the news.”
Delbanco adds that the podcast will make TFK more accessible , especially for “kids who are visually impaired, who struggle with reading, or who don’t have their own device, but whose parents may be able to play something from a phone.”
According to Eshaan, TIME for Kids Explains is also a great series for kids who haven’t listened to podcasts before. “I wasn’t a big podcast person” before cohosting the show, he says. “But my interest grew, and now podcasts have almost become part of my routine.”
Alexis shares his enthusiasm. “Listen to our podcast because it’s so upbeat and so much fun to listen to,” she says. “You can paint a picture in your mind of what’s going on as we explain it.”