Reading Rainbow and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson Announce National Contest Winners

Minneapolis, MN | July 29, 2009

Reading Rainbow and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM today announced the national winners of the Reading Rainbow 15th Annual Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is a presenting sponsor of the program and Steve Mogck, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Country Inns & Suites, served on the judging panel, which met in June in Washington D.C. to determine the 12 national winners.

"I am pleased to represent the Country Inns & Suites By Carlson brand to show our strong commitment to children's literacy by serving as judge for this nationally recognized contest," said Mogck. "The relationship we've established with Reading Rainbow over the past two years has been extremely rewarding, both for our hotels across the country and for everyone supporting the brand at the corporate level. The program is very high quality and continues to have a positive impact on thousands of children nationwide."

"We are proud of our association with Reading Rainbow through our Read It & Return Lending Libraries at Country Inns & Suites and are happy to provide our guests' children the opportunity to be positively impacted by this great program," Mogck added.

"We applaud Country Inns & Suites for their leadership in literacy," said Donald K. Boswell, President and CEO of WNED, the co-producer of Reading Rainbow. "As an engaged public citizen, Country Inns & Suites is contributing to one of public television's most important missions - to help children build reading and writing skills, while forging a personal connection to a creative process."

Chosen from more than 45,000 entries from around the country, winning entries were selected for their originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of copy and illustrations. National winners (with their participating PBS stations) follow:

Kindergarten
Grand Prize -
The Colorful Spider by Rachel Lawton
KPTS, Wichita, Kan.

Second Place -
The Traveling Monkey by Matthew Haerens
Detroit Public Television

Third Place -
Princess Paloma by Pasqualina Muro
Milwaukee Public Television

First Grade
Grand Prize -
Gus and the Garbage Mountain by Jayda Brunkan
WQPT Quad Cities PBS, Moline, Ill.

Second Place -
Pink Lady by Anna Hietpas
Milwaukee Public Television

Third Place -
Better Eyes by Michaela Stell
WETA, Arlington, Va.

Second Grade
Grand Prize -
The Mystery of the Old, Green Purse by Ethan Hansen
Milwaukee Public Television

Second Place -
The Frog Who Couldn't Hop by Elisa Ann Peña
KEDT, Corpus Christi, Texas

Third Place -
Armed and Contagious by Olivia Grace Hurley
WSRE, Pensacola, Fla.

Third Grade
Grand Prize -
Finding Grandpa by Abigail C. Helser
Wisconsin Public Television

Second Place -
The Middle Child by Emily Neva Mae Ellenbecker
Milwaukee Public Television

Third Place -
I Lose My Teeth in the Weirdest Ways by Ian McCue
Vegas PBS, Nev.

Conducted by the acclaimed PBS KIDS television children's series Reading Rainbow with funding from presenting sponsor Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Inc. and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Contest and the series are produced by WNED-TV/Buffalo and Smarterville Productions LLC. The Contest is public television's longest running and most successful outreach effort. Winning stories will be posted at www.PBSKids.org/readingrainbow later this month.

Reading Rainbow airs weekdays on most PBS stations. Designed to encourage children to develop a love of reading and books, the series is now in its 26th season, making it the second-longest running PBS KIDS series. The series has been honored with 26 Emmy Awards, including two in 2007 for "Outstanding Children's Series" and "Outstanding Writing In A Children's Series."

Visit www.countryinns.com for more information and reservations for all Country Inns & Suites By Carlson locations, or to learn about the "Sweet Deal" summer travel promotion. Travelers can also call toll-free 800-456-4000 or contact a travel professional.

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