Blount County students win ETPtv’s Reading Rainbow Contest

Alex Shepherd of Carpenters Elementary School reads from her story “How the Cheetah Got It’s Spots”

Alex Shepherd of Carpenters Elementary School reads from her story “How the Cheetah Got It’s Spots”

Faith Noel Adkins of Friendsville Elementary School, author of the winning story “The Misunderstood Dragon”

Faith Noel Adkins of Friendsville Elementary School, author of the winning story “The Misunderstood Dragon”

Alex Shepherd of Carpenters Elementary School reads from her story “How the Cheetah Got It’s Spots”

Alex Shepherd of Carpenters Elementary School reads from her story “How the Cheetah Got It’s Spots”

Two talented Blount County students won the 15th-annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest conducted by East Tennessee Public Television (ETPtv). A winner is chosen from kindergarten-, first-, second- and third-grade student submissions.

“Our judges were very impressed with the student’s creativity and had quite a difficult time choosing the winners,” said Teresa James, President and General Manager of ETPtv. “This is one of our favorite educational programs because it’s so true to our mission to educate, entertain and challenge minds . . . minds of all ages.”

First-grade winner Faith Noel Adkins at Friendsville Elementary School wrote “The Misunderstood Dragon,” a story of a “beautiful princess” who befriends a nasty dragon. After a “handsome prince upon a beautiful brown horse” rescues the princess from the dragon, the princess quickly learns the dragon is kind after all and is just “misunderstood.”

Second-grade winner Alex Shepherd of Carpenters Elementary School wrote “How the Cheetah Got It’s Spots.” The story begins with “Mrs. Giraffe” who adds more spots to her coat to make her feel “pretty.” Jealous, the mean north wind blew the spots off “Mrs. Giraffe” and into a “prickly dead bush,” which cut the spots into tiny pieces. “Mrs. Cheetah,” spotless at the time, came upon the scene only to have the north wind blow the spots onto her “beautiful, golden fur.”

Jack Lathrop, West Hills Elementary School, Knox County, won first place for the kindergarten group and Nina Klein, Beaumont Elementary School, Knox County, won first place for the third-grade group.

Nearly 150 young writer and illustrators submitted original stories for the contest. Each grade-level winner received a Reading Rainbow DVD, tickets to a Smokies baseball game, the Zoo and the Museum of Appalachia. The winner from each grade level will also compete in the national Reading Rainbow competition for the chance to win a flat panel TV with DVD player, a digital camera, a MP3 player, and Reading Rainbow DVDs or feature books.

ETPtv, a nonprofit viewer-supported television station, provides lifelong learning opportunities to more than 950,000 homes in East Tennessee, southern Kentucky and eastern North Carolina. As a PBS affiliate, the station achieves this by broadcasting non-violent, commercial-free children’s series; instructional programs to K-12 classrooms and home schooled students; basic skill and adult education series; and primetime shows that entertain, enlighten and educate.

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