Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Calling All Kids for PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest


PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest encourages children to create original stories and illustrations


January 18, 2012

George Hazimanolis

Maria Pisano


PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest encourages children to create original stories and illustrations

PITTSBURGH – WQED Pittsburgh is kicking off the new year with the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest for students in grades kindergarten through third, a national initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. 2012 marks the eighteenth year that WQED has offered the Contest to the region and the third year that EQT Corporation is sponsoring WQED’s contest in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WV PBS.) Also partnering with WQED this year is Penn State Public Broadcasting (WPSU) which serves central Pennsylvania. A central website, writeonkids.org, provides information about the Contest and the local enrichment opportunities offered in each station area.

“By offering the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest to our region, we are encouraging early learners to explore their creativity while developing essential literacy skills,” said Jennifer Stancil, Executive Director of Educational Partnerships at WQED. “WQED’s commitment to literacy and to nurturing children’s creative expression is unwavering, and we are delighted to offer this Contest again locally in partnership with our sister stations, WV PBS and WPSU. Research shows that creative writing can enhance and improve a child’s literacy development, and through this Contest, we are helping prepare children for learning and success, in school and beyond.”

Beginning January 14, 2012, WQED, WV PBS, WPSU and other PBS stations throughout the country will work with schools, public libraries and other education organizations to implement the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest in their communities. To celebrate the beginning of the Contest and distribute related materials, WQED will host the openings of two new PBS KIDS Library Corners, the first in the region, at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie on January 26 and at the Homestead Library on February 2. These events, primarily for school groups, will also feature appearances by characters from the popular PBS KIDS programs, SUPER WHY! and The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! The Saturday Light Brigade, a key local partner in the 2012 Contest, will also install and debut two new Story Boxes that highlight winning stories from the 2011 Contest, read by the student authors themselves. A Story Box is a wall-mounted or tabletop box, the face of which contains pictures with “hot spots” that are pressed to hear audio tracks.

For more information on the PBS KIDS Writers Contest in West Virginia, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Central Pennsylvania, including entry forms, rules, contest resources, and local event listings, go to www.writeonkids.org

In order to equip parents and teachers to best support their students’ contest entries, WQED will conduct three one-hour webinars on issues related to writing and illustration.

To register for:

• “Writing and Editing” January 25 at 3:30 p.m. with elementary school teacher Caley Svensson;

• “Ideation to Storyboarding” February 8 at 3:30 p.m. with local children’s author Michael Scotto;

• “Illustration” March 7 at 3:30 p.m. with Joe Wos, Executive Director of the Toonseum

go to www.writeonkids.org or click on the webinar titles above.

WQED, WV PBS and WPSU will select local winners and award prizes. Local winners will be entered into the national level of the Contest where a panel of judges will select the winners. National winners will be announced and prizes – including tablets, e-readers and MP3 players – will be awarded during summer 2012.

For the second year in a row, WQED has partnered with The Saturday Light Brigade to invite winners and honorable mentions from the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest to record their stories live in the Saturday Light Brigade radio studios at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; these recordings will be made on April 28. Winning stories will be aired by The Saturday Light Brigade as part of their Youth Expression Showcase, archived on SLB's website, matched with individual author’s stories in the “Previous Winners” section of the Contest website, and included in new versions of The Saturday Light Brigade’s contest storyboxes.

This year’s winners’ celebration will be held in the historic Fred Rogers’ Studio at WQED in Oakland on May 12 and will feature performances of the winners’ stories that have been transformed into puppet plays.

About WQED Pittsburgh

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their 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; WQED Showcase; 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 Penn State Public Broadcasting

Penn State Public Broadcasting serves central Pennsylvania with programming, educational services and community outreach. Its public media services produce, acquire and distribute programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of an audience within central Pennsylvania.

About West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Public Broadcasting nurtures personal growth, promotes civic responsibility and inspires lifelong discovery through high-quality programming and services. West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, wvpubcast.org and Ready To Learn® are all services of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting is a 501(c)3 organization responsible for receiving donated funds from individuals for annual membership to West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Friends serve as ambassadors in their communities on behalf of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

All of the licenses for West Virginia Public Broadcasting are held by the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Kay Goodwin, Secretary.

About Saturday Light Brigade

SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB) uses radio and audio to encourage, amplify, share and archive the ideas, stories, and feelings of children, youth and families. SLB believes in radio and audio because these technologies enable a sense of intimacy, engagement and self-directed imagination that is often lacking in other media, while also promoting opportunities for privacy (given that children need not be photographed), equal access (audio has fewer barriers for participation than other media), and sharpening of important life skills (i.e., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, and critical thinking, respect for others, confidence and cooperation, and technical curiosity).


PBS KIDS GO! offers early elementary children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS GO! content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, join our community online on Twitter and Facebook, or visit pbskidsgo.org.

Posted on behalf of Joanne Quinn-Smith by Joyce Kane.  Joyce is the Owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.  www.Cybertary.com/Pittsburgh

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