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AWARD CEREMONY FOR PBS KIDS GO! WRITERS CONTEST AND HEALTHY KIDS DAY
Eight, Arizona PBS to present awards to Arizona winners of national K-3 writing and illustration competition, kicking off a day dedicated to kids’ education and health

PHOENIX -- (April 22, 2013) Eight, Arizona PBS, in partnership with the City of Phoenix Latino Institute will honor the Arizona winners of the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, April 27 from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. at an awards ceremony to be held at Downtown Civic Space Park near Fair Trade Café, (424 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85004). First, second and third place winners from each grade level will be recognized. The event will also feature a special appearance by award-winning Arizona children’s author Terri Fields.

The national-local contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. Children in grades K-3 in communities across the country are invited annually to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original pieces into the competition.

Each winner's story will be posted on the contest website at www.asset.asu.edu. The first place winner in each grade level in Arizona will be sent on to the national competition. The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is produced by PBS KIDS Raising Readers, managed by WNED-TV, Buffalo/Toronto and implemented locally by Eight, Arizona PBS.

The ceremony kicks off Healthy Kids Day – an event promoting children’s activities for mind and body during the summer months, featuring activities from the City of Phoenix Latino Institute, Lincoln Family YMCA and Eight, Arizona PBS.  Healthy Teeth and Healthy Me Kits from Sesame Street will be distributed and entertainment provided from Baxter of the Arizona Diamondbacks, KIP the Giraffe, and other popular mascots, including creating pinwheels to demonstrate wind energy with Curious George. Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA will provide games encouraging children to jump into action such as a bounce house, fitness clinics and karate demos. The event will also offer family-friendly yoga, Zumba® lessons, and golf, basketball and tee ball stations.

"The City of Phoenix Latino Institute is very happy to host this wonderful day focused on children as they celebrate the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Awards and the Healthy Kids Day at the Civic Space Park," says Carmela Ramirez, Latino Institute Co-Chair and Arts and Culture Coordinator of the City of Phoenix Parks Department. "It is through active engagement in events such as these that our youth experience positive surroundings, understand and grow to respect their peers and hopefully contribute to future shaping of their community."

Across the state, Arizona’s Common Core Standards are being implemented to ensure that all students have the academic knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, career and life. The educational events presented by Eight, Arizona PBS are designed to support those standards, explains Kimberly Flack, Eight Associate General Manager for Education and Outreach.

“Eight, Arizona PBS will be providing resources for parents and kids to stay active and healthy, learn about nature and develop important math and science skills from PBS KIDS,” says Flack. “These are activities and projects tied to Common Core State Standards from some of our most popular PBS KIDS series like Curious George.  Educators can also find these resources online as part of PBS LearningMedia at http://az.pbslearningmedia.org.”

Lincoln Family YMCA aims to prepare parents and children with options to stay healthy during the summer through its activities at the event, says Bethany Kennedy, operations director of Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA.

“Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. Healthy Kids Day provides the opportunity for parents to start thinking early about what their kids can do to stay active, learn and grow during the summer,” says Kennedy. “We are excited to partner with PBS, City of Phoenix Latino Institute and Civic Space Park to join 1,900 Y’s nationwide in the celebration of Healthy Kids Day.”

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.