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WTVP Kid Brings Home the National


Friday,  September 3rd, 2010


Peoria, IL—Meriah Nicole Fearon, a Peoria grade-schooler, has won First Place in the First Grade category at the national level of the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest!

Meriah’s magnificently illustrated story, "Naughty Gnomes," is a delightful rhymed tale of the misadventures of a group of garden gnomes that come to life when no one’s looking. The story was inspired by her sister’s extensive gnome collection, and her fantastic artistic ability is, no doubt, inherited from her mother, an artist and art teacher herself.

[Read "Naughty Gnomes" Here]

Designed to promote the advancement of reading skills by encouraging children to develop original stories and illustrations, the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest garnered more than 25,000 submissions from across the country. At the national level, "Naughty Gnomes" competed against 90+ finalists in two rounds of judging and a final placement round. The judging panel was comprised of America’s foremost children’s authors, illustrators and content experts including Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-sitters Club® series; R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps® series; Marc Brown, creator of Arthur; Tony DiTerlizzi, creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles; and Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company, among others.

Naughty Gnomes Book CoverAs national winner, Meriah will receive her very own laptop computer. Additionally, "Naughty Gnomes" (as read by Word Girl) is featured on the national contest website, ReadyToLearnReading.org. While there, look for fellow local winner Hanna Hicks’ story, "The Black Cat," as well as previous WTVP local and national winners including Rachel Thomas, Joey McNally, and Brea Fearon, Meriah’s older sister.

Meriah, a multi-talented young lady, is now entering second grade at the Montessori School of Peoria. When she grows up, she aspires to be a veterinarian, dance teacher, art teacher and piano teacher. WTVP’s PBS Kids can do anything!

[See all the 2010 Local Winners Here]


The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is a part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national initiative which uses the power of public media to build the reading skills of children ages two to eight, with an emphasis on children from low-income families. The effort is funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), PBS and The Ready To Learn Partnership.


PBS KIDS offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s nearly 360 public television stations. For more information visit PBS.org/pressroom.

About WNED

WNED is the founder and national co-producer of the Reading Rainbow series which garnered a total of 26 Emmy Awards, ten of which were for “Outstanding Children’s Series.” WNED was the producer of the popular Mark Russell Comedy Specials for PBS and is a producer of major documentaries for PBS national distribution. A series of WNED documentaries (Your Life Your Money, Window to the Sea, Niagara Falls, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo, The Marines, The Adirondacks, Fort Niagara: The Struggle for a Continent, Elbert Hubbard: An American Original) have been broadcast nationally on PBS since 2005. WNED is currently producing several documentaries slated for national PBS broadcast in the coming years including the War of 1812 and a special on the Chautauqua Institution.

About CPB

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.


Contact: Stacey Tomczyk, WTVP Promotion Director, (309) 495-0594 or stacey.tomczyk@wtvp.org




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