Dec. 30, 2008 – Creative kids have a chance to show their stuff with the annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.
Applications will be available starting Jan. 1 at public television station WTJX's offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix and at the station's website .
The contest is open to pubic and private school children in kindergarten through third grade. Entrants must write and illustrate their own books.
"This contest builds confidence and prepares children, at a very young age, for future writing experience. Illustrating their own books allows them to develop their own style and sparks their interest in developing their storytelling skills," WTJX Director Osbert Potter said in a news release issued Monday.
Every child who enters will receive a certificate, with prizes awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in each grade. Their stories will be featured on WTJX.
The first place winners in each grade advance to the national competition.
Nationally, prizes are awarded to the top three winners in each grade. The grand prize is a flat panel TV with a DVD player. The second prize is a digital camera, and the thirds is an MP3 player. Each national winner also receives three Reading Rainbow library DVDs and books. One goes to the winner, one to the school and one to the nearest local library
Nationally winning stories are featured on www.pbskids.org.
Although this is the contest's 15th year, WTJX spokesman Tanya-Marie Singh said this is the first time WTJX is participating.
Reading Rainbow is a program that encourages reading by children. Hosted by actor LeVar Burton, the show is now in its 26th season on public television.
Further information on the contest can be obtained by calling WTJX's education outreach manager, Claude Gerard, at 773-3337, extension 227.