Press Releases

Reading Rainbow Award Winners Named

March 23, 2009

Reading Rainbow Award Winners Named

Four Advance to National Competition

Milwaukee, WI - In a field of over 1,000 outstanding entries, 20 local children in grades K4 through three are recognized as recipients of 2009 Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Awards. The first place winner in each grade advances to the national level competition. Winning stories are taped and aired on MPTV 10 & 10.1 HD and MPTV 36 & 36.1. All winners are recognized with certificates of achievement and honored at an awards reception in May.

MPTV has sponsored the contest for young children for 15 years. To date, MPTV has had 12 national winners and is the only public television station to have three national winners in one year. Parents and teachers encourage children to create books that are original, creative, and well-illustrated examples of storytelling. Reading Rainbow is an Emmy Award-winning, half-hour series focusing on children and literature. It airs on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on MPTV 10 & 10.1 HD and weekdays at 2:30 p.m. on MPTV 36 & 36.1 DT.

First place winners are Princess Paloma by Pasqualina Muro, Milwaukee (kindergarten); Pink Lady by Anna Hietpas, Shorewood (grade one); The Mystery of the Old Green Purse by Ethan Hansen, Franksville (grade two); and The Middle Child by Emily Ellenbecker of Cascade (grade three).

For more information about next year's contest and how to get a Reading Rainbow Writer's Club started in your school, contact Darlyne Haertlein, MPTV's supervisor of Outreach Services at 414-297-7518 or

Funding for the Reading Rainbow Project is provided by the Assurant Health Foundation, the Law Firm of Hupy and Abraham, and the Harley Davidson Foundation. Reading Rainbow airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on MPTV-10 &10.1 and weekdays at 2:30 p.m. on MPTV-36 & 36.1

The complete list of winners and entries follows. All are from Wisconsin.

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First Place: Pasqualina Muro, Milwaukee, Princess Paloma
Second Place: Keelie Miller, Franksville, My Magic Unicorn
Third Place: Caleb Cochran, Eden, Home
Special Merit: Kaldan Dondre Juarez Kopp, Campbellsport, The Bear and the Witch
Special Merit: Catherine Miller, Campbellsport, The Princess and the Two Pets

Grade One
First Place: Anna Hietpas, Shorewood, Pink Lady
Second Place: Filumena Muro, Milwaukee, My New Glasses
Third Place: Bryce Lardinois, Bristol, If I Were President
Special Merit: Caitlin Hunter, East Troy, The Beauty in Your Heart
Special Merit: Omkar Halleppanavar, Waukesha, My Brother and Me

Grade Two
First Place: Ethan Hansen, Franksville, The Mystery of the Old Green Purse
Second Place: Mason Yee, Bristol, The Night
Third Place: Jeremy Radovich, Milwaukee, The Man That Lived On a Hill
Special Merit: Jack Hietpas, Shorewood, Not Just A Box
Special Merit: Kelly Koerber, Caledonia, Isn't One Cat Enough!

Grade Three
First Place: Emily Ellenbecker, Cascade, The Middle Child
Second Place: Courtney Geschke, Franksville, The Rock Star
Third Place: Haley Jean Gonzalez, Franksville, Barnabie Finds A Home
Special Merit: Stephanie Phillips, Caledonia, I Can't Blow A Bubble
Special Merit: Lauren Hunter, East Troy, My Dad's Cancer

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