2014 PBS Kids Writer Contest Awards

Campbellsport Elementary First Grader Places in the National 2014 PBS KIDS Writer Contest


Sam Ellenbecker, has won second place in the first grade category of the PBS KIDS National Writing Contest. Sam is 7 years old and attends Campbellsport Elementary in Campbellsport, Wisconsin. His book Survival Guide to South Dakota provides important tips on how to take the perfect South Dakota vacation.

Sam was chosen from thousands of submissions from 62 participating PBS stations across the country. The contest was designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. 

The joy of having a child recognized at the national PBS KIDS Contest is not a new experience for Sam’s parents, Mary and Craig Ellenbecker. Sam’s older sisters Megan and Emily both placed in the national PBS KIDS Writers Contest multiple times. Megan won twice and Emily won three times. “Our kids aren’t much for athletics so we’ve always encouraged them to use their minds. I think in the long run that will get them ahead in life,” said Craig Ellenbecker.

Out of 486 submissions this year, MPTV awarded 22 local winners throughout southeastern Wisconsin in kindergarten through grade three. The first-place winners in each of the four categories were sent on to the national competition.

National prizes are courtesy of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc

MPTV’s 2014 PBS KIDS Writers Contest Awards

Thanks to all of the young writers and illustrators in southeastern Wisconsin who participated in MPTV’s local contest. We hope you enjoyed the experience of writing and illustrating your own book. In our book, each of you are winners.

This year we received 486 entries. Your books explored family, community, and a world of imaginary places. We know you worked many hours on your creations and we appreciate all of the hard work you put into it. Our judges were delighted to read each of your books. Those chosen for special recognition are listed below.

MPTV’s PBS KIDS Writers Contest 2014 Awards

Video Link
Watch MPTV's "PBS KIDS writers Contest" wining books



  • Benji J. First - “The Band”
  • Owen M., Second - “My Baby Sister”
  • Ryan R., Third - “The Rossi Farm”
  • Emily O., Special Merit - “My Dad”
  • Isabelle S., Special Merit - “Twelve Pirates”

First Grade

  • Sam E., First - “Survival Guide to South Dakota”
  • Sean L., Second - “The Robot Party”
  • Zylia K., Third - “How to Get Rid of a Monster”
  • Sophia M., Special Merit - “The Tallest Flower”
  • Ella Y., Special Merit - “Emergency!”

Second Grade

  • Blake L., First - “Cloudy Days”
  • Evey S. G., Second - “My Silly Sister Celi”
  • Joshua R., Third - “The Magical Swing in My Backyard”
  • Donis L. T., Special Merit - “S-Dog the Superhero”
  • Kylie G., Special Merit - “Lost”
  • Riya Mathews., Special Merit - “Nervous Nicole”

Third Grade

  • Himani C., First - “Elephantasia”
  • JJ S., Second - “Space Trip”
  • Noah M., Third - “Bob the Lion”
  • Ella T., Special Merit - “The Tale of the White Tail”
  • Seliz A., Special Merit - “On Grandpa’s Farm”

MPTV Education Award (Drawing Class Scholarship)

Alexis W. - “I Love Winter”

MPTV honored our award winners with a reception on June 25th

We hope you will participate again in next year’s contest. Check back with us in the fall for more information about upcoming writing and illustrating workshops.

Thanks to the Harley-Davidson Foundation for its support of the MPTV’s PBS Kids 2014 Writers Contest.

Harley-Davidson Foundation

Special thanks to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, Artist and Display, and the Kiwanis Club for their prize donations.