Press Releases


July 23, 2014

Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) has announced local 7 year-old Sam Ellenbecker as a national winner in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. As a first-place winner in the local contest sponsored by MPTV, Sam's entry was submitted to the contest's national level.

Sam, a first-grader at Campbellsport Elementary in Campbellsport, Wis., was chosen as a winner from thousands of submissions from 62 participating PBS stations across the country. Sam's winning story, Survival Guide to South Dakota, was awarded second place among the first grade entries.

The joy of having a child recognized at the national PBS KIDS Writers Contest is not a new experience for Sam parents, Craig and Mary Ellenbecker of Cascade, Wis. 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 20 local winners from throughout southeastern Wisconsin in kindergarten through grade three. 2014 marked the 20th year that MPTV has held the contest in its viewing area.

"MPTV is proud to announce Sam's win in this year's PBS KIDS Writers Contest," said Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV. "The PBS KIDS Writers Contest helps the children of southeastern Wisconsin build valuable literacy skills for success in school and life, and it's great to see a local child in our community nationally recognized as a winner."

The stories of all the winners of MPTV's local PBS KIDS Writers Contest were produced as a program and will be broadcast on Sunday, August 24 at 9:30 a.m. and Friday, August 29 at 5:00 p.m. on MPTV 10.

The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children's literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. Made possible in part by local financial support from The Harley-Davidson Foundation, the contest empowers children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their very own stories. Visit for upcoming children's writing workshops and next year's contest that begins in January 2015.

The national winners will receive prizes courtesy of national prizing sponsor; LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. Winners will receive a prize package that will include LeapFrog's award-winning LeapReader Reading and Writing System along with educator-developed LeapReader books, maps and more to help children on every step of their reading and writing journey.

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based
programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit

About MPTV
Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) is southeastern Wisconsin's premier non-commercial media organization. MPTV consists of two high-definition television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and seven additional digital television services. The MPTV stations are the area's only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs, and also offer a diverse schedule of their own award-winning local series and specials. The stations are watched by over 644,300 viewers each week throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. For more information, visit


Erin Eaton, Publicist/Grant Writer
P: (414) 297-8229

Julie Hill Lehr, Manager-Marketing and Community Engagement
P: (414) 297-7518