Reading Rainbow and Counry Inns & Suites By Carlson Announces National Contest Winners

Minneapolis, MN | July 15, 2008

Reading Rainbow and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson today announced the national winners of the Reading Rainbow 14th Annual Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson℠ is a presenting sponsor of the program and Steve Mogck, executive vice president of Franchise Operations for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, parent company of Country Inns, served on the judging panel, which met in June in Washington D.C. to determine the 12 national winners.

"It's truly an honor to be a judge for this nationally recognized Contest that supports children's literacy as I have such a strong connection with Reading Rainbow on both a personal and professional level," said Mogck. "My wife is a former elementary reading teacher who has encouraged our three children to love reading. Each of them has been a fan of Reading Rainbow through the years. The program is high quality and has had a very positive impact on many children, including my own."

"We are pleased to continue an association with Reading Rainbow through our Read It & Return Lending Libraries at Country Inns & Suites to provide our guests' children the opportunity to be positively impacted by this great program," Mogck added.

"We applaud Country Inns & Suites for their leadership in literacy," said Donald K. Boswell, President and CEO of WNED, the co-producer of Reading Rainbow. "As an engaged public citizen, Country Inns & Suites is contributing to one of public television's most important missions - to help children build reading and writing skills, while forging a personal connection to a creative process."

Chosen from more than 45,000 entries from around the country, winning entries were selected for their originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of copy and illustrations. National winners (with their participating PBS stations) follow:

Kindergarten

  • Grand Prize - Family Zoo by Filumena Muro -Milwaukee Public Television (Wisconsin)

  • Second Place - Where Do Baby Teeth Go by Michaela Stell -Maryland Public Television/MPT

  • Third Place - I Can't Decide! by Jayda Brunkan -WQPT Quad Cities PBS, Moline, Illinois

First Grade

  • Grand Prize - Monster in My Pocket by Ethan Hansen -Milwaukee Public Television (Wisconsin)

  • Second Place - Building Buddies by Dane DiMuzio -HoustonPBS (Texas)

  • Third Place - Grandpa and Me by Kenzie Jo Carson -Prairie Public Broadcasting (North Dakota)

Second Grade

  • Grand Prize - Adventures with Sam by Emily Ellenbecker -Milwaukee Public Television (Wisconsin)

  • Second Place - Lolly's Spectacles by Ayse Allison -KACV, Amarillo, Texas

  • Third Place - Tractorman Saves the Savannah by Kieran Morris -Nashville Public Television (Tennessee)

Third Grade

  • Grand Prize - The Adventures of Abby the Ant by Rachel Dugan Wood -WVIZ PBS ideastream, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Second Place - The Clown of the Orchestra by Ezri Berggren -KPTS, Wichita, Kansas

  • Third Place - Mythtopia, a Myth According to Me by Caitlyn Ling -WETA, Arlington, Virginia

Conducted by the acclaimed PBS KIDS television children's series Reading Rainbow with funding from presenting sponsor Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Inc. and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Contest and the series are produced by WNED-TV/Buffalo and Smarterville Productions LLC.

The Contest is public television's longest running and most successful outreach effort. Winning stories will be posted at www.PBSKids.org/readingrainbow later this month.

Reading Rainbow airs weekdays on most PBS stations. Designed to encourage children to develop a love of reading and books, the series is now in its 25th season, making it the second-longest running PBS KIDS series still in production. The series has been honored with 26 Emmy Awards, including two in 2007 ¯ for "Outstanding Children's Series" and "Outstanding Writing In A Children's Series."

Visit www.countryinns.com for more information and reservations for all Country Inns & Suites By Carlson locations, or to learn about special summer family travel savings. Travelers can also call toll-free 800-456-4000 or contacting a travel professional.

Note to editors: for a downloadable image of Steve Mogck at the judging event, please visit: http://www.countryinnsmedia.tekgroup.com/section_display.cfmsection_id=44

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