Press Releases

Reading Rainbow Winners Announced

March 12, 2008

Children from Franksville, Caledonia, Cascade and Milwaukee are among the 20 local winners of Milwaukee Public Television's 2008 Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Awards. This year's contest drew 1,155 entries.

Filumena Muro, Milwaukee, won first place in the kindergarten division; Ethan Hansen, Franksville, earned first place in the first grade division; Emily Ellenbecker, Cascade, took first place in the second grade division, and Jack Betthauser, Caledonia, took first place in the third grade group.

Participants in the contest created illustrated books for the event, which was sponsored locally by Milwaukee Public Television for the 14th year. Judges considered originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of copy and illustrations.

The entries winning first place in each grade will be forwarded for judging in the national competition. Reading Rainbow, the contest's national sponsor, is an Emmy Award-winning, half-hour public television series focusing on children and literature. The program airs on MPTV-10 Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

First, second, and third place winners, along with Special Merit winners, will be invited to an awards reception in May. The 20 winning stories will be videotaped and aired as a special summer program on MPTV-10 and 36. Individual stories will be seen between children's programs on MPTV-10 and 36 for one year.

The complete list of winners and entry titles follows:


First Place- Filumena Muro (Milwaukee, WI)
Family Zoo

Second Place- Micah J. Stege (Hartford, WI)
Snake and Caterpillar are Friends

Third Place- Ava Klawitter (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)

Special Merit- Lucas Gierach (Campbellsport, WI)
When I Grow Up

Grade One

First Place- Ethan Hansen (Franksville, WI)
Monster In My Pocket

Second Place- Paige Betthauser (Caledonia, WI)
My Friend Is Moving

Third Place- Mason Yee (Bristol, WI)
The Chase

Special Merit- Kelly Koerber (Caledonia, WI)
I Didn't Get A Bunny

Special Merit- Hannah G. Cochran (Eden, WI)
Swim Sally Swim

Grade Two

First Place- Emily Ellenbecker (Cascade, WI)
Adventures with Sam

Second Place- Courtney Geschke (Franksville, WI)
Ty and the Very Very Pesty Fly

Third Place- Lauren Hunter (East Troy, WI)
Sisters Are Forever

Special Merit- Sydney Donath (West Bend, WI)
Majestic the Magical Unicorn

Grade Three

First Place- Jack Betthauser (Caledonia, WI)
What's a Comet?

Second Place- Elaine Klatt (Brookfield, WI)
Aunt Jenny and I

Third Place- Sarah Blair (Salem, WI)
Margaret and the Dolphin Report

Special Merit- Brooklyn Landgraf (Sheboygan, WI)
The Mystery of the Missing Locket

Special Merit- Kao Lee Yang (Manitowoc, WI)
Candy Land Girl

Special Merit- Larisa Lindsley (Campbellsport, WI)
Wheeling Through The Years

Special Merit- Lola DeFever (Oconomowoc, WI)
Planet Opposites

Funding for the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest is provided by the Assurant Health Foundation, the Law Firm of Hupy & Abraham, and the Harley Davidson Foundation. Additional funding for our children's programming is provided in part by The Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation.