Kid on KZFR

Lily Winchell

Photo By Meredith J. Cooper

Lily Winchell loves stories—writing them, reading them and sharing them. She also loves her grandmother. So when Laurel Blankenship (the aforementioned grandma) asked if she’d like to co-host a radio show on KZFR, Lily jumped at the chance. Story Corner airs the second Monday of each month from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Lily reads papers she’s written for her third-grade class at Sierra View Elementary; “Lily’s Grandma” plays story-song records; and the two chat about topics such as Ride a Bike to School Week. They began as substitutes, filing open slots on the schedule, but Lily and Laurel found out last week that they have a regular spot in the rotation. General Manager Jill Paydon hopes Lily, a vivacious 8-year-old, inspires other kids to give community radio a try.

How did the idea for the show come about?

I’ve heard Grandma a lot [Laurel also hosts KZFR’s Peace & Social Justice show 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays]. She asked me if I wanted to do it, and it looked fun.

What was the very first show like?

I felt kind of like the whole world was going to notice me. I felt kind of good, and I felt kind of nervous.

How quickly did you stop being nervous?

About 20 seconds. [Laughs]

Does is take a long time to prepare for a show?

It takes us about 20 minutes to record the stories. Grandma will tell me what we’re going to play and get the headphones ready for us. It’s kind of scripted out, and that makes me less nervous.

Is it hard to figure out what to say when you’re live on the air?

No. It just kind of comes to me. It helps talking back and forth with Grandma. She’s pretty calm. I always love to hear her voice.

What do you like to share with the kids who are listening?

My biographies—every time I do a biography, I want to do it on the air. There’s Misty May [a beach volleyball star]. There’s my pioneer biography about Mary Hoskins. And I’m encouraging other people to put their biographies on the air, on the show.

How much longer do you want to do Story Corner?

Four months.

You think you’ll be too busy with school and not want to have the show?

Yeah. [Laughs]

Well, then, what can people who listen to you this summer look forward to hearing?

We haven’t really planned that. We just go with whatever’s happening.