Entertainment and Education for Kids — and Grown-ups, Too

By now the kids have settled back to school and there’s calm on the home front …or is there? What to do with your family’s little early birds in the wee morning hours when all you can think about is a steaming cup of coffee and maybe a hot shower? Well, help is literally just a click away.

Did you know that APTN broadcasts its wildly popular children’s programming block every morning of the week? Hosted by Cassidy and the animated polar bear Qannik, APTN begins its children’s programming at 5:30 a.m. in English, French and a variety of aboriginal languages. Young viewers can join Cassidy and Qannik as they take part in various activities, including crafts, cooking and visits with special guests throughout the three-hour block.

APTN’s kids’ programs are produced with your child’s curiosity and imagination in mind and feature lots of action and fun. Many of these shows also squeeze in educational components (but don’t tell your kids!).

Young viewers can learn the basics of the Cree language with Kai, Kayla and Auntie Josephine in the energetic, interactive series Nehiyawetan. Takuginai, meanwhile, features Johnny the Lemming and other locally made puppets to educate Inuit children on cultural values such as respect for elders, sharing and patience — and having fun in the process. Our kids’ block definitely gets more “animated” with Bizou, the lively preschool series that explores the wonderful world of animals as seen through the eyes of a cheerful little five-year-old native princess.

Of course APTN’s October lineup is still chock full of options for the adult set, with even more new series premieres, documentaries and pilots. Fans of The Biggest Loser will love APTN’s new weight-loss series that follows four individuals in their pursuit to get healthy. Fit First (premiering Oct. 13) leads participants through physical challenges, supplying them with gym memberships, personalized nutritional and goal-setting activity plans, a trainer and a dietician. Follow their journeys and see who realizes their goal of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle.

If reality TV doesn’t appeal, you may prefer something more Sheltered. This world premiere series chronicles a young First Nations carpenter’s journey to five continents to learn the ancient home-building secrets of the world’s indigenous cultures.

We’ll also premiere Mohawk Girls (Oct. 7), a half-hour dramatic comedy. The series revolves around Bailey, Caitlin, Zoe and Anna, four 20-something Mohawk women trying to find their place in the world and, of course, trying to find love. Can you say Sex in the City Mohawk-style?

Big docs for October on the Reel Insights documentary strand include the APTN premiere of Jackpot and the English premiere of Experimental Eskimos. Jackpot gives a sometimes sad, sometimes funny, always compelling peek into the lives of a community forged in the unlikeliest of places — a bingo hall. The award-winning Experimental Eskimos documents an extraordinary attempt at social engineering and shows how an experiment in assimilation not only changed the people involved, but changed a nation.

Next month:Cowboy Up, Jerry Maguire, the Rent is due…and even more great movies coming your way in November!

Make sure to log on to www.aptn.ca to see our full northern schedule and more information on current programming and initiatives, contests and memberships.

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