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Alaska youth invited to enter national 'Reading Rainbow' contest

Submitted by Tammy Tragis
Phone: 907-474-1890


Kindergarteners through third-graders from across the state are invited to write and illustrate original storybooks and enter them in the 14th annual "Reading Rainbow" Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Entry forms, rules and additional information are available from AlaskaOne by calling 907-474-1890 or online at www.alaskaone.org. Entries must be postmarked by March 21, 2008.

Sponsored by the award-winning PBS television series "Reading Rainbow," the contest attracts about 80 entries statewide and more than 40,000 entries nationally each year. AlaskaOne, together with more than 100 other PBS stations nationwide, offers the contest. Kindergarteners through third-graders enter the contest by creating an original story with illustrations.

"We are proud to participate in this national contest as a way for kids to develop a lifelong love of reading," says KUAC/AlaskaOne CEO and general manager Greg Petrowich. "'Reading Rainbow' is a prime example of a program creating a fun, exciting platform for education. AlaskaOne is committed to educating every generation, and that's why we dedicate over 10 hours to quality children's programming each weekday. "

Every child who enters the contest receives a special certificate of achievement. Statewide winners will receive a "Reading Rainbow" backpack and DVD. Area first-place winners advance to the national competition. Last year, second- and third-grade students from Fairbanks placed first in the statewide contest and advanced to the national competition.

National prizes are awarded to three winning stories in each grade. The national grand-prize winner at each grade level will receive a laptop computer. The second-prize winner in each grade level will receive a flat panel TV with DVD player. The third-place winner in each grade level will receive an MP3 player. Each national winner also receives three "Reading Rainbow" library sets--five DVDs and books--for his or her home, school and library. In addition, national winning stories are featured on pbskids.org, one of the most-visited national websites for children. To read previous national winning stories, as well as a sample of local submissions, visit pbskids.org/readingrainbow.

"Reading Rainbow," hosted by actor LeVar Burton, is a critically acclaimed television series that encourages children ages 5 to 10 to read. It is the most-used television program in K-3 classrooms. Now in its 25th season on PBS, this educational series fosters lasting friendships between children and books. The contest builds on the program's mission to encourage a child's love of books and reading. The Emmy Award-winning series airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on AlaskaOne.