Writer’s Contest for Children Beginning January 27, 2009

PBS KIDS GO! and WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto are partnering to launch the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, a national-local contest designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning.  The Contest encourages children in grades K-3 in communities across the country, to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original pieces.

Beginning on January 27, 2010, PBS stations throughout the country will be active partners in the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, and will work with schools, public libraries and other literacy organizations to implement the Contest in their communities. Children will be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and submit them to their local stations, which will select winners and award prizes.  Local winners will be entered into the national level of the Contest where a renowned panel of judges will identify the national winners.  Winners will be announced and national prizes, including laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players will be awarded in summer 2010.

In addition, a new PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Web site at pbskids.org/read will launch in early 2010.  As the information hub of the Contest, it will include the winning stories in each of the Contest categories as well as a searchable archive of winning stories.

“We know from research that there is an important connection between writing and the development of early literacy skills, critical cornerstones for school readiness and achievement,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS. “PBS KIDS uses the power of media to open up the worlds of letters and words for all young children, encouraging them to explore ways to communicate more effectively and increasing their odds of success.”

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest extends the powerful tradition and annual success of the 15 year national “Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest,” originally created by WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto and NET Nebraska.

“WNED is proud to continue its leadership role in literacy for public television through the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest,” said WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell.  “Building on the important legacy of “Reading Rainbow,” this new contest ushers the powerful mission of our programs directly into the homes and classrooms of the community, motivating young students to create and imagine.”

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is a part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative which uses the power of public media to build the reading skills of children ages 2-to-8, with an emphasis on children from low-income families.  The effort is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS and The Ready To Learn Partnership.

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