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WQED PITTSBURGH NAMES 18 YOUNG AUTHORS AS LOCAL WINNERS OF THE EQT CORPORATION PRESENTS: PBS KIDS GO! WRITERS CONTEST
Annual Competition Fosters Reading, Writing, Creativity; Local Winners Advance to National Finals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 24, 2010

CONTACT:
Rosemary Martinelli
412-622-6433
rmartinelli@wqed.org

WQED PITTSBURGH NAMES 18 YOUNG AUTHORS AS LOCAL WINNERS OF THE EQT CORPORATION PRESENTS: PBS KIDS GO! WRITERS CONTEST

Annual Competition Fosters Reading, Writing and Creativity; Local Winners Advance to National Finals

PITTSBURGH – WQED has selected 18 students as western Pennsylvania winners of the EQT Corporation Presents: PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest. The contest encourages children grades K-3 to celebrate the power of writing and illustrating by submitting their own original storybooks. The winners were chosen from among 800 local entrants by a panel of judges including WQED education, interactive, membership, marketing, and sales staff members.

Contest entries were first judged at the local level. Those winners advance to the national competition, where a panel of renowned judges will select the national winners. The national winners will be announced, and prizes, including laptops, digital cameras and MP3 players, will be awarded by PBS later this summer. Each child who entered the Contest received a Certificate of Achievement. The winning local authors also received DVDs, books, art supplies and Barnes & Noble gift cards, courtesy of WQED and EQT Corporation.

This year’s winners created stories featuring tales of fish, birds and Leprechauns.

KINDERGARTEN
First Place: A Bird Spoke to Me by Owen Kagle, Bridgeville, Parent-assisted
Second Place: The Pigeon Wants to Fly to Space! by Ella Slagle, South Hills, Parent-assisted
Third Place: Changing Days by Mayan Harris-Gershon, Squirrel Hill, Parent-assisted
Honorable Mention: Bony the Skeleton Fish by Michael LaPoint, Cranberry, Parent-assisted
Queen’s Choice: The Little Rainbow by Addilae “Addi” Watts, South Park, Parent-assisted

FIRST GRADE
First Place: Dealing With the Monsters by Micah Dordal, Penn Hills, Parent-assisted
Second Place: The Fish Who Made a Wish by Katie Heidenreich, Aspinwall, Parent-assisted
Third Place: The Mystery of the Golden Bug by Daniel Trimble, Brookline, Parent-assisted
Honorable Mention: Dandylion Wishes by Madeline Grote, Scottdale, Parent-assisted

SECOND GRADE
First Place: If I Were a Bird by Ashley Chung, Sewickley, Parent-assisted
Second Place: The Wild Turtle Chase by Kiran Kling, Oakland, Parent-assisted
Third Place: The Amazing Faith and Her Adventures by Kareena Lee, Squirrel Hill, Parent-assisted
Honorable Mention: The Tale of the Easter Leprechaun by Rachel Howard, Shippenville, Parent-assisted

THIRD GRADE
First Place: Tim Sails a Lesson by Christine Troll, Somerset, Parent-assisted
Second Place: Animalympics by Theresa Heidenreich, Aspinwall, Parent-assisted
Third Place: Princess Grace and the Magic Kingdom by Cyrus Jordan Fant, Uniontown, R.W. Clark Elementary
Honorable Mention: The Big Dance by Kaitlyn Geil, Pleasant Hills, Parent-assisted
Queen’s Choice: Wonderful Things About the Ocean by Noelle DiSilvio, Squirrel Hill, Minadeo Elementary

The winning entries, along with all of the remaining 800 entrants and their families will be invited to be honored during the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 10th annual Summer Reading Extravaganza! in Oakland on Sunday, June 6 from noon-5 p.m. Writers Contest participants and winners will be recognized and presented with their prizes during the ceremony which will be held in the in the Carnegie Library’s Lecture Hall. Host of the event will be WQED’s storyteller The Queen of Hearts, who will share stories and fun.

All children visiting the Reading Extravaganza can also “Make a Splash” with WQED at the activities tent outside on the Carnegie Library’s lawn. For more information about the Extravaganza and the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest for next year, go to wqed.org/edu. A sampling of winning stories can be found on the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest website located at ReadyToLearnReading.org. The site also features information for parents and teachers as well as interactive user-generated content for kids.

WQED, with support from EQT Corporation, was one of 87 public television stations nationwide participating in this year’s contest, which was designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning.

“Research has shown that writing plays a key role in the development of early literacy skills,” said Jennifer Stancil, WQED executive director of educational partnerships. “The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest leverages the reach and resources of public media to encourage kids to tap into these important skills. Judging from the response we received, it is apparent that the children are indeed eager for these resources and this type of platform.”

Produced by WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and PBS, the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is a part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative that 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.

About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.org , PBSKIDSGO.org , PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org ), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org). PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

About WQED
WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

About EQT
EQT Corporation is the largest natural gas producer in the Appalachian Basin, and one of the largest in the country. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operating in four states – Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – the company is committed to meeting the country’s growing demand for clean energy, promoting safety, providing a rewarding workplace, and using its resources to enrich the communities where its employees live and work. To learn more about EQT, visit www.eqt.com

About CPB
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.


The contents of this release were developed under a grant, #PRU295A050003 and #PRU295B050003, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


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