Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network will launch a new website for young people called EWTNKids on Palm Sunday, April 13th.
According to Michael Warsaw, President of EWTN, “Part of Mother Angelica’s dream when we launched EWTN’s website more than seven years ago was to provide an Internet site where young people could go to learn about their Catholic faith.”
“EWTNKids will provide an interactive and entertaining website for children to learn about their faith while they play,” he explained.
The new website was conceived and developed by Kym Kienitz, an EWTN Theology Department staffer and Franciscan University of Steubenville graduate. “I was sitting at my desk one day and the idea of a children’s website literally ‘fell’ into my mind. Credit for this work goes to the Holy Spirit, who gave me endless ideas about what should be included in the site,” she said.
Kienitz said EWTNKids is built around a Catholic neighborhood, which is home to a church, a school, several homes, a clubhouse, a Post Office, a library and the EWTN Faith Factory, which is the name of the Network’s children’s programming block.
“Children will be able to enter the church and click on different parts of the building and see what they are called. Clicking on the votive candles will take them to a page where they can post their own prayer requests and light their own virtual votive candle,” she said. “They will be able to visit the church’s sacristy to discover what liturgical items are behind cabinet doors. Linking from items in the church, children will also be taken to learning sections on the Sacraments, which will includes Scriptural passages, Catechism lessons and preparation pages.”
Kienitz described three of the new site’s entertaining areas: “In the School, children will find three classrooms where they can challenge themselves with age-appropriate Catholic quizzes. In the Homes, they will be invited into the rooms of several children, where they will discover puzzles, games, coloring pages and interactive ‘how-to’ activities. The Post Office will be a place where kids can pick up their e-greetings and find useful addresses to write to EWTN, Mother Angelica, or the Holy Father.”
The site will also feature a Club House, where, with parental approval, children will be able to register to become part of the EWTNKids Club, receive e-greetings and eventually, a child-sized newsletter.
Michael Warsaw said the launch of the children’s web site is really only the beginning of EWTN’s commitment to provide on-line content for young people. “We will continue adding features and pages as they are developed,” he said. “For instance, once it’s completed, the Library will offer stories about the saints, a Catholic dictionary and a museum where children can view sacred works of artists like Michelangelo and Fra Angelica.”
“And from a practical standpoint,” Warsaw continued, “As they visit the Faith Factory section, young people will be able to check program times, listen to music, sing-a-long with songs, and meet familiar network characters.”
Warsaw said, “EWTN is proud to make Mother Angelica’s dream come true and we are grateful that we are able to launch EWTNKids on Palm Sunday, which is also World Youth Day 2003.”
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 21st year, is available in more than 80 million television households in 107 countries and is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTNKids can be found on the Network’s web site, www.ewtn.com/EWTNKids.