Sponsored by the award-winning PBS television series Reading Rainbow, the contest attracts about 100 entries locally and more than 40,000 entries nationally each year. KTOO / Alaska One, together with more than 100 other PBS stations nationwide, sponsor the contest. Student in kindergarten through third grade enter by creating an original story with illustrations and submitting it with an official entry form to KTOO / Alaska One.
Airing weekdays at 1 p.m. on Alaska One, Reading Rainbow builds lasting friendships between children and books. The contest builds on the program's mission to stimulate a child's interest in reading.
Every child who enters the contest receives a certificate of achievement signed by LeVar Burton, host of the Reading Rainbow series. Local first place winners will advance to the national competition. Three national prizes are awarded at each grade level. This year's prizes will include a laptop computer (1st place), flat panel TV and DVD player (2nd place) and MP3 player (3rd place). National winners also receive three sets of Reading Rainbow DVDs and matching feature books - one for their school, one for their library, and one for themselves. In addition, national winning stories are featured on pbskids.org, one of the most-visited national Web sites for children. To see previous national winners' stories, as well as a sampling national submissions, go online to pbskids.org/readingrainbow/contest. Now in its 24th season, Reading Rainbow has garnered more than 250 awards, including 24 Emmys, a Peabody, nine CINE Golden Eagles, nine Parent's Choice Awards, and six international Prix Jeunesse Awards.