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Kids Should Listen to This

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CHAPEL HILL — If your children spend too much time in front of the TV, a Chapel Hill couple may have the answer.

Jim Nestor and Arlene Furman are bringing back the best of the old days of radio when listeners created their own images. Their product isn't on the radio; it's on tape.

It includes music, stories and poems with a local flair.

In a Chapel Hill recording studio, a magazine for children is in the creative stages.

This magazine isn't for the eye but for the ear.

"Besides the fact that it's produced on tape, it operates just like a magazine," Nestor says. Nestor and Furman have been producing Shoofly for five years.

There are no ads, just stories, songs and poetry. Much of the work comes from local writers and musicians with an eclectic mix meant to entertain and educate.

"And also expose them to a whole bunch of different talents and different types of music that are out there," Nestor adds. "Different kinds of stories about different people."

Artists provide the material, then Jim, Arlene and sound engineer Randy Friel provide the polish and background color.

The team says those who grew up in the golden days of radio appreciate best the art of telling a story and challenging the mind.

Nestor says those people are "pre" the "whole video explosion."

"You know a student's listening skills and how important they are, and just paying attention and also picking up concepts and things like that," Nestor says.

Expect the unusual in music, stories and prose -- things both kids and parents won't mind hearing again and again.

If you're driving your child around, you have to listen to it, too," Furman says. "You have to like what you're listening to."

The Shoofly tapes cost about $6 each.

They're sold as a subscription. Call 800-919-9989 for more information.


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