Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Reading Rainbow Writing Contest

Does your child have a book in them? If so, here is his or her chance to experience a small taste of authorship.

Reading Rainbow as seen on PBS is holding its (12th) annual story-writing and illustrating contest for students from kindergarten through 3rd grade. It is fascinating the stories these young children write. The illustrations can also be amazing or just plain unusual. This is a great opportunity to have your students or children put their wonderful developing imaginations to work.

Here in Central Indiana you can follow the local PBS station's, WFYI, link to last year's winners and hear their stories. It also provides the details of entering. Each area's local PBS station holds its own contest, so check your local station and see what the guidelines are for submitting stories. I believe the common deadline is March 31.

Each grade level is judged separately and there are awards for 1st through 3rd place, and every child who enters gets a certificate signed by the Reading Rainbow's host LeVar Burton. The winner's stories are then aired at a later date and usually read by a well-known local or state individual or celebrity. There were 12 judges for last year's contest, which included elementary teachers, librarians, artists, and child development specialists.

Unfortunately, at the national level there seems to be a bit of a glitch in the contest. Seems the national PBS contest is on hold due to a lack of funding. But, each local station is still holding its own, if it has its own funding.

Even if you aren't interested in the contest, check out the It's in a book section. This webpage includes all the books they have previously spotlighted on the show. There is a picture of the book along with an audio and written summary of the book. Good place to check out book ideas for home or school. If you haven't seen the program or would like to see one of the previous programs for a specific book, check out your local library's video section. Both my local and school libraries carry almost all of the program's videos. When I worked in the elementary school library a few years back, many of the 1st through 3rd grade teachers used to incorporate the videos into a specific lesson. Math Curse written by Jon Scieszka was a favorite along with Rechenka's Eggs written by Patricia Polacco.

Now if for some reason the Reading Rainbow contest doesn't appeal to you or your child, there are many more available. There is even one put on by the author mention above, Patricia Polacco. Check out her Summer Writing Contest; it includes catagories for older children as well.

Hope your day includes a good book.


Blogger Number Twelve said...

This comment serves as unsolictied advice for those parents who might have lil' ones old enough to enter writing contests... As a child I LOVED to write and tried my best at drawing. And entered one contest at the local library. Received an honorable mention. I felt ten feet tall. Acknowledge and encourage the passions of your children. And help them develop it even if it's something you might not be personally interested in.

10:43 AM  
Blogger PJ Librarian said...

Well said!

7:27 PM  

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