Eight celebrates youth at annual children’s festival, featuring award ceremony for PBS KIDS Writers Contest – April 25

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Eight, Arizona PBS launches interactive game at Phoenix event featuring educational hands-on activities, live performances and special guests

PHOENIX — (April 18, 2014) Eight, Arizona PBS, in partnership with the City of Phoenix Latino Institute, invites families and educators to join in celebrating the 14th annual El Día de los Niños, honoring the community’s youth, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Margaret T. Hance Park, (67 W Culver Phoenix, AZ 85004). “El Día de los Niños is dedicated to promoting the importance of literacy and education for children, honoring the joys and wonder of childhood, regardless of linguistic and cultural background,” says Carmela Ramirez of the Latino Institute and City of Phoenix, Arts & Culture.  El Día de los Niños will feature more than 50 booths hosted by schools, colleges, youth and nonprofit organizations. In addition, Eight’s Education Outreach team was one of three chosen by PBS nationally to invent an original hands-on educational game for children and will showcase this new interactive learning activity at the event. Desert Scramble, an educational word-building activity that encourages teamwork and allows youth to express their knowledge of desert facts and spelling, will be emceed by Bob Beard, Eight’s promotions and events coordinator, who will help debut the game at the event. “At Eight, we strive to create opportunities that allow viewers to share their excitement about a variety of diverse topics, from a love of space exploration to creative writing,” says Beard. “Our exclusive game debuting at El Día de los Niños will provide our PBS kids a fun new way to stay active while discovering more about the exceptional desert landscape they live in.”

Eight will also honor the winners of the 2014 PBS KIDS Writing Contest, a national-local competition for grades K-3 designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning.  The awards will be presented at 10:30 a.m. at Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). First, second and third place winners from each grade level will be recognized and winning stories will be published on the contest website at www.azpbs.org/contests. The first place winner in each grade moves on to the national competition. The event will also feature a special appearance by Arizona’s poet laureate Alberto Rios, ASU Regents’ Professor of English, award-winning author and poet.

Eight also welcomes preschoolers, kindergartners, parents and early childhood educators to a special event beginning at 9 a.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, spotlighting a live performance by Daniel Tiger of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, hosted by Gordon Brown. Brown will lead the event, playing music, presenting story readings and hosting other hands-on activities. Following an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, children will also have the opportunity for a meet and greet with Daniel Tiger, including photo opportunities.

“Some teachers make this special day a part of their annual plans and have attended ‘Día’ with their students since the City of Phoenix Latino Institute first began this inner city celebration,” says Kimberly Flack, Eight’s associate general manager for education and outreach. “We are thrilled to bring so many varied PBS resources to the day for students, their teachers and their families.  Daniel Tiger is all about being a good friend, PBS KIDS Writers Contest commemorates our youngest authors and illustrators and the PBS KIDS game gives everyone a chance to stretch their brains and run their legs a bit too!  Our team looks forward to having you join us at Deck Park for the day.”

All events featured as part of El Día de los Niños are free to attend.

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