Each Thursday during the second half of the FOX8 5:00 PM News , Chief Meteorologist Van Denton gives children a chance to present a portion of the weather forecast.
This segment began in 1997 and has since become a favorite of many viewers. The idea for this segment came from a similar experience Van had while in school. Van sent a winter weather forecast to WPTF-TV 28 (at the time, the NBC affiliate for Raleigh/Durham) and was invited to appear on the program and present this forecast.
The experience to be on TV was fun enough, but to make it even more special, the winter forecast included the date of the first snow of the year to be on December 27. Giving the forecast (guess) three months in advance, no one really expected it to really come true. But, on that date, it did snow and Van was invited to re-appear on the weather with the late Hap Hansen. This experience was so positive and such a builder of self-esteem, that Van hoped to someday have an opportunity to bring a similar experience to children in his viewing audience.
When the legendary Frank Deal retired in 1996, Van went to management and asked if he could put together such a segment. Through their support and the help of Kay Lain, assistant to the News Director , the segment began in May of 1997. Since then, hundreds of Piedmont children have had a chance to tell of their interests, share their dreams for the future and anchor part of a weather segment. One day, a former Weather Kid may have a chance to offer a similar opportunity to other children. In 2002, the Van’s Weather Kid segment was Nominated for an Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Interested children (6 to 12 years old) can write a paragraph about why they would like to be a Van’s Weather Kid and include their picture, address and phone number to:
Van’s Weather Kids
High Point, NC 27261