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Local Contest Part of Effort to Mobilize Children Across America to Write and Illustrate Their Own Stories

January 31, 2011

George Hazimanolis

Local contest part of effort to mobilize children across
America to write and illustrate their own stories

WQED Pittsburgh and EQT Corporation present the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest. The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading, writing and illustration skills through hands-on, active learning. The local effort encourages children in grades K-3 in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky to submit their own original stories with custom illustrations.

This contest marks the 17th year WQED has conducted a writing contest for area youth and the third year EQT has provided sponsorship for the contest. “A great legacy of WQED and PBS is its long-term commitment to raising readers. We couldn’t be more proud to showcase the stories from children’s imaginations – from invented characters to dealing with their fears, hopes and dreams – that we celebrate every year,” said Jennifer Stancil, Executive Director of Educational Partnerships at WQED.

Underwriting from EQT Corporation will support WQED’s local Contest as well as state-wide contests in West Virginia for West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WV PBS) and for Kentucky Educational Television (KET).

“At EQT, we work hard to create a culture of innovation that helps our employees develop new and creative ways to make our business better,” said Charlene Petrelli, president of the EQT Foundation. “Supporting the Writers Contest allows us to spread that culture to the communities we serve by encouraging innovative thinking in young children and allowing them to express their budding creativity in words and pictures.”

WQED will actively partner with schools, public libraries and other literacy organizations to implement the Contest across the five state region. Children will be encouraged to write and illustrate stories and submit them to WQED, which will convene a panel of experts to select winners and award prizes. New this year, WQED will host a series of events for children to educate and excite them about the Contest. Workshops for parents and children will be held at the Oakland Main branch of the Carnegie Library on Monday, January 31st from 2 – 3:30 p.m. and at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on Saturday, February 19th from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Teachers and parents are also primary to success in the Writers Contest so WQED will also offer three, free online seminars to equip them with techniques to engage their children in effective writing. Find out more at wqed.org/edu, the WQED Education Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Applications and additional information are available by logging onto: http://www.wqed.org/education/writers-contest/index.php. In addition, the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest web site at pbskids.org/writerscontest includes previous years’ winning stories in each of the Contest categories, a searchable archive and a “mash-up” function where visitors can create their own stories.

The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is produced by WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and PBS, and is 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.

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. 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; 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 one of the largest natural gas producers in the Appalachian Basin. 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

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, PBS’s children’s media and 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 KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. In September 2008, PBS KIDS GO! launched its video player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video), featuring hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes. Since launch, the site is averaging 1.3 million streams per week. PBSKIDS.org averages nine million unique visitors a month. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 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 WNED
The Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED) long ago established itself as an originator of television content for PBS. WNED is the founder and national co-producer of the Reading Rainbow series which garnered a total of 26 Emmy Awards, ten of which were for “Outstanding Children’s Series.” WNED was the producer of the popular Mark Russell Comedy Specials for PBS and is a producer of major documentaries for PBS national distribution. A series of WNED documentaries (Your Life Your Money, Window to the Sea, Niagara Falls, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo, The Marines, The Adirondacks, Fort Niagara: The Struggle for a Continent) have been broadcast nationally on PBS since 2005. Elbert Hubbard: An American Original is WNED’s next PBS production and is scheduled for broadcast on November 23, 2009. WNED is currently producing several documentaries slated for national PBS broadcast in the coming years including the War of 1812 and a special on the Chautauqua Institution.

About 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 PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, which is funded in part by a Ready To Learn grant, in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The contents of these contest rules were developed under a grant, #PRU295B050003, from the 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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