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PBS KIDS, SHPTV Announce Annual Writers Contest

PBS KIDS Writers ContestSmoky Hills Public Television again is partnering with PBS KIDS for its annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest, designed to promote the advancement of children's literacy skills through hands-on, active learning.

The contest is open to children in kindergarten, first, second and third grades and encourages them to celebrate their creativity while building literacy skills by writing and illustrating their own stories.

"PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of media to encourage children to learn and explore, on and off-screen," said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children's Programming, PBS. "The PBS KIDS Writers Contest allows kids to experience the hands-on process of developing their own stories and illustrations, which builds language skills such as reading, grammar and syntax, and encourages creativity."

"It's important to engage children, showing them how fun and rewarding learning can be," said Leona Breeden, Smoky Hills Public Television Education Director. "We hope parents and teachers throughout central and western Kansas will encourage their children to participate."

How the Contest Works

Smoky Hills Public Television and other PBS stations throughout the country are collaborating with schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the PBS KIDS Writers Contest in local communities. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each age group. Smoky Hills Public Television's deadline to receive the stories is March 28, 2014.

The local winners will then be entered into the national contest, when a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2014 and the winning stories will be featured on www.pbskids.org/writerscontest.

The national winners will receive prizes courtesy of national prizing sponsor, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. Winners will receive a prize package that will include LeapFrog's award-winning LeapReader Reading and Writing System. The contest is also made possible through national promotional support from Highlights for Children. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.

National Judges

This year's panel of national judges includes the following acclaimed writers, producers and children's media creators:

  • Billy Aronson, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Jeff Kinney, author (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series), online game developer and designer
  • Martin Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Chris Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Joseph Mazzarino, head writer, director and puppeteer, SESAME STREET
  • Jennifer Oxley, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Vince Vawter, author (PAPERBOY)

Creative Writing Resources

To help young writers get started, PBS KIDS offers a robust set of resources for children, parents and teachers. Story ideas and activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries, are available on the contest website to inspire children during the brainstorming process. PBS LearningMedia is also offering a collection of online teacher resources for use in classrooms nationwide.

To enter the contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources, visit www.pbskids.org/writerscontest or www.smokyhillstv.org.

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