AHN’s new video series ‘Cai & Kate’ teaches kids about emotions
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has launched a new YouTube show all about emotional well-being. Designed for kids between 3 and 6 years old, “Cai & Kate” is available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
These short episodes feature Cai, a chameleon puppet whose color changes depending on his emotions and feelings, and Kate, Cai’s human friend who talks with the audience about the various emotions portrayed in the show. The show is produced by Chill Project Productions, an initiative of the AHN Chill Project. Offered through AHN’s Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Institute and led by a team of behavioral health specialists. Kate is played by Katlyn Kohne, a supervisor for the Chill Project.
The Chill Project currently serves kids in grades K-12, as well as college students. Through puppetry, music and education, the show expands that work to younger kids. The hope is that by watching the show, preschoolers will grow their ability to identify and talk about emotions.
“Young children feel a wide range of emotions and may have challenges identifying and expressing their needs. As these emotions surface, they can feel powerful and sometimes overwhelming for children, and caregivers may have difficulty understanding them,” said William Davies, Ed.D., founder and director of the Chill Project. “Our goal with ‘Cai & Kate’ is to create a free, easily accessible resource for families that helps children identify and create their emotional vocabularies.”
“Cai & Kate” is also designed as a resource for caregivers. The show introduces coping skills that can help children identify and express their emotions, teaches caregivers how to view emotions through the lens of their child, and helps mitigate behaviors like throwing, hitting, biting and temper tantrums.
The show is funded by the A. J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust, which also supports on-site Chill Project services at local school districts and the Chill Mobile vehicle. Funding from the Trust, along with other partners, has led to growth in youth mental health services across the Western Pennsylvania region, with programming helping more than 44,000 students, 3,500 educators, and thousands of parents and caregivers.
“The innovative programming and educational resources produced by Chill Project Productions have the potential to reach audiences far beyond Western Pennsylvania, serving as a vital tool that will help families learn how to cultivate emotional well-being in children,” said John W. Kowach, executive director and trustee for the Palumbo Charitable Trust. “By introducing these coping skills at an early age, this model will set a new standard for how mental health care is approached among preschoolers and is a positive step to addressing mental health challenges faced by today’s youth.”
Check out the first episode below. Additional episodes are expected in the coming months and will be streaming in AHN’s pediatric office waiting rooms along with”Cai & Kate” activities like coloring books.