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PBS 'Kids Go!' Writing Contest for grades K-3 starting up-- homeschoolers have won in the past!
Susan Richman, 1/10/2013

Editor's Note from Susan Richman: Have your young kids come up with some delightful creative stories? Then consider entering this fun writing contest sponsored by Public Broadcasting Station WQED in Pittsburgh. The wonderful homeschooling Troll family from Somerset PA has had two daughters enter and go to the top levels of this contest-- their original illustrated books were delightful, and I loved seeing the little video last year at evaluations of their daughter Caroline Troll at the WQED studio recording her book (the 3rd place winner!), reading it aloud with lively expression-- and you can hear little 6-year old Caroline Troll reading her delightful butterfly story right up at the contest website! I know you'll be charmed. Older sister Christine Troll (now in 6th grade) was the 1st place third grade winner in 2010-- click here to read and see her full book, including all of her amazingly detailed and creative illustrations (just 'click' on the picture of her book, and a new pop-up window with the full book, with 'page turning' shows up-- amazing!).

And to get your kids' creative ideas going, definitely check out all the 'back winners' stories-- they are all up online, and I know you're kids will be VERY inspired to see what other children have created. In fact, one of the very wonderful things about looking into many types of contests is that the websites for the contests often share past winners' work, and looking over these quality efforts can really help our kids gain a sense of just what might be possible. It's like getting free curriculum materials-- and very motivating ones at that! 

This year's contest is open to students in Grades K-3 in the Western and Central PA regions as well as in West Virginia. The 'kick-off' is starting January 15th, and stories must be submitted by April 5, 2013. There are different length requirements for each grade level, and young children who can't yet write down their own stories can dictate to an adult. At least five colorful illustrations must accompany the story. The links below will give you all the needed info-- let us know if your kids enter, or let us know how they enjoyed seeing the past winning stories! This would also be a terrific activity for homeschool Writing Clubs or weekly Co-op programs.

         (The cover of kindergartner Caroline Troll's original story-- 3rd place regional winner in 2012!)


PITTSBURGH – Today, WQED announced its annual PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. Also partnering with WQED this year arePenn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU) which serves central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Public Broadcasting(WVPB). The Contest, made possible by financial support from EQT Corporation, encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations.

“WQED is committed to providing fun opportunities for Pittsburgh-area kids to express their creativity,” said Deborah L. Acklin, President and CEO, WQED. “The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest helps children across southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond to build valuable literacy skills for success in school and life.”


How the Contest Works
Beginning January 14, 2013, children in southwestern and central Pennsylvania, as well as throughout West Virginia, can submit their entries to the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest. WQED will select local winners and award prizes, including the opportunity to record their winning story to be broadcast on Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) Radio in the spring of 2013.


WQED will send its list of winners to the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2013 and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest.


The national winners will receive prizes, including tablets, e-readers and MP3 players. Additionally, Highlights for Children has joined the Contest as a new promotional partner and all participants will have the option to receive a print or digital version of Highlights magazine. In 2012, two students from WQED’s regional contest were recognized as 2nd place winners in the national Contest. To learn more about these and all of WQED’s past winners click here.


Contest Kick-Off Events
WQED will host several kick-off events for the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest in January:


 Wednesday, January 16
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library
5801 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
100 students from Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 and St. Edmund’s Academy will join their teachers and the public for: a video expose from the 2012 contest winners; story teller Sydell Pearl; PBS costume character Curious George; and eight literacy learning stations.


 Wednesday, January 30
10 a.m. – Noon
Hill District Carnegie Library
2177 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
80 students from Pittsburgh Weil PreK-8 will join their teachers and the public for: a video expose from the 2012 contest winners; story teller Sydell Pearl; PBS costume character; and eight literacy learning stations.

To view the full press release click here.

WritersContest.AnnouncementRelease.FINAL.pdf WritersContest.AnnouncementRelease.FINAL.pdf
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