Caz grad hosts TV show
By Willie Kiernan
Hosting "Aqua Kids" is a natural fit for Molly McKinney.
"I've always been interested in biology and animal behavior," said the 2004 Cazenovia High School graduate.
The cable TV show "Aqua Kids" motivates young people to take an active role in preserving aquatic environments and wildlife, by showing how other kids just like them can do the same. Whether it's saving sea turtles or participating in a beach cleanup, the Aqua Kids demonstrate the real and lasting contribution children can make in protecting the future of their community and the world. McKinney is a television/digital film production major at SUNY Fredonia. She is also the host and associate producer of the show. She leaves college regularly to film episodes on location.
"I'm a communications major, so I'm applying what I learn," she said.
Recently she filmed in the Everglades for a few days.
"I feel like I'm doing a good thing, showing kids stuff, getting them excited," she said. "It's definitely rewarding."
McKinney is an integral part of every episode.
"I help research the facility that we want to work at, get on the site, talk to scientists there and figure out the opening within two minutes of arriving and hop in front of the camera," she said.
This 5-foot, 6-inch adventurous redhead wears all these hats while maintaining a 4.0. The program, whose pilot episode won a pair of Emmy Awards, teaches children, ages 8 to 12, about the diversity of marine life and importance of preserving aquatic environments. Episodes are not taped in studios, but on assorted locations ranging from tropical paradises to massive aquariums.
"They're actively engaged," McKinney said of her cast members, all children. "It's up close and hands on, every episode. They're doing everything I'm doing; participate in all the feedings Everything is very hands-on."