Look out Dora and Elmo, Becon TV is moving in. Becon is a cable channel in Broward County serving preschoolers through high school students.
"We are a little-known secret in Broward County," says marketing coordinator Anne O'Connell.While educational television carries the stigma of being boring, Becon uses locally created programs with interviews, stories and footage of Broward schools, to create diverse programming for tykes and adults.
"We purchase programming from other educational providers as well as sell ours to provide a variety of programming for our viewers," O'Connell says. "We produce about 44 percent of programming on Becon in Broward County."
In the morning block, there is educational television for parents who home-school their children. For example, Putting Geometry on the Map and Measuring Up teach students study skills in math and FCAT preparation, respectively. The thematic morning schedules, such as Math Monday and Arts Friday, are valuable assets for parents who have homebound children or who home-school. Afternoons cover everything from science to crafts, enhancing what children have learned at school.
Programs such as Soaring Into FCAT Science cater directly to the needs of Florida students. Becon also reaches out to teens with Broward Teen News, Sports Blitz and the unscripted Teen Talk.
Broward Teen News, now in its 17th year, is one of the channel's cornerstone shows. Broward School Beat is a 30-minute, monthly news magazine showcasing the positive stories happening every day in Broward County schools. Celebrate South Florida is a monthly magazine show that profiles interesting people, places and events in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
"We shoot throughout Broward County, interviewing students, teachers, parents, and officials along the way. This makes the content relevant to our viewers' lives on a level no national station can replicate," says director Dr. Phyllis Schiffer-Simon.
But Becon isn't just for kids. Entertainment continues into the evening, when Becon airs cooking, travel and home-improvement shows.
"I watch Becon as a way to stay informed as a parent about items before the School Board," says Julie DeGreeff, a teacher and mother of two. "For the kids, I like the comprehensive, wholesome programming. They have the opportunity to learn while being entertained. What more could a parent want?"
Programming airs throughout Broward County on Comcast, Advanced Cable and Tele-Media by Adelphia on Channel 19. and BellSouth Entertainment. Channel 70.