Kids and parents visiting TVOKids.com beginning May 31st will be introduced to two new and inspiring additions to the team. Ten-year-old Emma Evans from Toronto, and 16-year-old Hisham Mohammad from Whitby, join TVOKids.com as its newest Kid Reporters bringing back stories from the field from a typical kid’s point of view.
TVOKids producers worked with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, where Emma and Hisham receive services, to help find kids who had talent and who could inspire kids who face challenges of their own.
“When TVOKids approached us to help find a Kid Reporter, we were thrilled because we know so many enthusiastic kids with great stuff to contribute,” says Genevieve Scott, Senior Communications Associate at Holland Bloorview. “Many people don’t know a child with a disability. Sometimes this can lead to false impressions about differences and misunderstandings. Emma and Hisham are role models for kids with and without disabilities. We are so proud of them and excited to see them on TV.”
For TVOKids producers the search of Emma and Hisham presented them challenges of a welcome kind.
“At first, we were looking for only one new reporter,” says Pat Ellingson, TVO’s Creative Head of Children’ Media, “but Emma and Hisham’s auditions were so wonderful that when it came to making the selection we realized we had to have two. They’re both enthusiastic, interested in people, and both have exceptionally bright minds. They are great examples of kids who demonstrate that there are no limitations to what you can achieve in life.”
Emma is a Girl Guide, a member of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, an avid reader who hosts monthly book clubs in her home and has published a short piece of writing in her school where she is a grade 4 student. Emma was also featured in a video for HeartSpeak, in which she talks about Cerebral Palsy, the challenges it presents to her in her life, and confessed to wanting to become an actress when she grows up.
Hisham is a grade 10 student in the Performing Arts program at O’Neill Collegiate & Vocational School in Oshawa. A budding musician and athlete, Hisham plays alto saxophone and sledge hockey, is a member of the Junior National wheelchair basketball team, and names Rick Hansen as his role model. Hisham is also civic-minded, becoming the first page in a wheelchair in the Ontario Legislative page program at Queens Park.
In April, Emma and Hisham along with some of their friends met with TVOKids producers to talk about what stories they think should be on their editorial calendars including, a trip to the Toronto Zoo, bush-plane ride, the Canadian Air & Space Museum, Wheelchair sports, and Harbourfront Kids Camp.