Young writers, illustrators in 9th annual contest

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Young authors and illustrators in kindergarten through third grade recently participated in the Ninth Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators contest. Sponsored by local public television station KTOO-TV in cooperation with the nationally acclaimed PBS children's series, Reading Rainbow, the contest encourages young children to write and illustrate their own stories.

Judges were noted authors and illustrators of children's books Jean Rogers, Suzi Gregg Fowler, Jim Fowler and Julianna Humphries.

"We're very pleased to be able to offer the Reading Rainbow contest to young Alaskan authors and illustrators," said president and general manager Bill Legere. "The creativity of Alaskan children is impressive."

At a ceremony and reception held at KTOO in Juneau, the Alaska's First Lady, Nancy Murkowski, presented the winners with their awards along with prizes donated by McDonald's, Hearthside Books, the Alaska State Museum, Subway and Susan's Hallmark. Murkowski had personally read each story and commented to the children about how much she enjoyed their original work.

Kindergarten Winners:

First Place, Rhys Coffee, Juneau

Second Place, Ashleigh Watt, Juneau

Third place, Maire New, Juneau

Honorable Mentions also went to Lucas Selig, Summer Ward and Robert Xavier Newman.

First Grade Winners:

First Place, Emma Good, Juneau

Second Place, Kylie Waggoner, Juneau

Third Place, Max Delzer, Fairbanks

Honorable Mentions also went to Bianca Clark, Kiana Ford, and Orion Cohen

Second Grade Winners:

First Place, Tiernan O'Malley, Chignik Lake

Second Place, Molly Putman, Fairbanks

Third Place, Kevin Sigler, Juneau

Third Grade Winners:

First Place, Zachary Watt, Juneau

Second Place, Auri Clark, Juneau

Third Place, Emma Funk, Fairbanks

Honorable Mentions also went to Christy Adams, Gabriel Simple, and Morgan Brimstein.

This year KTOO-TV/Alaska ONE received more than 100 entries from all over Alaska. Local contest winners will advance to a national competition. Noted children's book authors, illustrators, publishers, educators and representatives from such organizations as the American Library Association and the National Council of Teachers of English make up the panel of national judges, who evaluate the entries and select the winners. National winners have not yet been announced.

Now entering its 20th season, Reading Rainbow has received enthusiastic international acclaim, garnering more than 150 awards, including 18 Emmys, a prestigious Peabody, eight CINE Golden Eagles, seven Parent's Choice Awards, and three international Prix Jeunesse Awards. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has twice honored LeVar Burton for his role on Reading Rainbow with its Image Award.

For additional information about Reading Rainbow check the PBS Kids site at for details.

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