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From the May 16, 2006 edition of The Great Bend Tribune:

12th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest (2006)

The Emmy award winning PBS television series, Reading Rainbow, each year invites children to discover books, reading and the love of learning. The 12th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, conducted by Smoky Hills Public Television, extends this mission by encouraging, challenging and rewarding children from Kindergarten through Third Grade to write and illustrate their own stories.

Smoky Hills Public Television is recognizing the work of a dozen children in central and western Kansas. More than 191 stories were submitted this year from schools and homes throughout the station’s 52 counties.

Leona Breeden, SHPTV’s Educational Services Coordinator, led the project. Entries were judged on originality, creative expression and the integration of story and illustrations.

Nancy Griffiths, Director of Educational Services states, “The contest has been tremendously successful. It is such a great learning experience for children in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades to be able to write and illustrate a book and be recognized for their hard work. All entries are given a Certificate of Achievement signed by Levar Burton. First, second and third place winners receive trophies, books and prizes. Although prizes are offered, the real focus is on recognizing all creative effort. This kind of project connects SHPTV with parents, teachers and children all across our viewing area. SHPTV loves doing it and that is what the Contest is meant to be – fun and a chance for children to be recognized for their creativity.”

Local SHPTV winners are being recognized at surprise presentations at their schools. The winners will also be posted on the SHPTV website at

Stories were submitted from schools and homes in Beloit, Natoma, Paradise, Waldo, Great Bend, Liberal, St. John, Larned, Salina, Sharon Springs, Hill City, Grainfield, Sublette, Ellsworth, Scott City, Wilson, Burr Oak, Lyons, Holcomb, Kismet, Stockton, Grinnell, Hoxie, Satanta, Bogue, Wallace, Kanopolis, Hudson, and Gove.

The following is a list of winners:

1st Place – Grace Eckels, Cornerstone Academy, Great Bend
2nd Place – Peyton Ostmeyer, Natoma Elementary, Natoma
3rd Place – Jacob Hanrahan, Natoma Elementary, Natoma

First Grade
1st Place – Damon Jones, Meadowlark Ridge Elementary, Salina
2nd Place – Taitem Zeigler, Natoma Elementary, Natoma
3rd Place – Janae Schulte, Home entry, Ellsworth

Second Grade
1st Place – Jennifer Beetenbrock, Ellsworth Elementary, Ellsworth
2nd Place – Hannah Horinek, Crosswalk Christian School, Sublette
3rd Place – Baley Doggett, St. John Elementary, St. John

Third Grade
1st Place – Morgan Beougher, Home entry, Stockton
2nd Place – Evan Shanelec, Central Elementary, Lyons
3rd Place – Kyler Sager, St. Mary’s Grade School, Salina

Smoky Hills Public Television has expanded it viewing area through a new partnership with DirecTV and Dish Network to 70 counties in Kansas and Dundy County, NE, which includes the cities of Hutchinson and Wichita. Corporate headquarters for the station are located in Bunker Hill. For more information about Smoky Hills Public Television, call SHPTV at (800)337-4788 or (785)485-6990, or visit the station website at


Science Olympiad 2005

Hannah & Steven Cornwell represented Golden Belt Home Educators at the Jr. High (6th through 9th grades) Science Olympiad on Tuesday, February 8th. They competed in 3 of the 23 possible events and earned gold medals in Dynamic Planet (about glaciers this year), and the silver in Can't Judge a Powder (chemistry/scientific method). They also placed 4th in the Egg Drop event (physics/building). Five teams competed in the Hays region this year including GBHE, Phillipsburg, Rupenthal Jr. High (Russell), Skyline (Pratt area), and Longfellow Jr. High (Hill City).

The Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science. One of the goals of the Science Olympiad is to elevate science education and learning to a level of enthusiasm and support that is normally reserved only for varsity sports programs. More information may be found at