Kids writing contest promotes literacy

pbs kids writers contestBUNKER HILL--Smoky Hills Public Television again is partnering with PBS KIDS on 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.

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

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

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.

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)

To enter the contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources, visit or