A group photo of this year's writing contest winners

Arizona PBS, Primavera announce winners of 2023 Writing Contest

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Winners celebrated during June 10 event

Arizona PBS and Primavera Online School® (Primavera) have announced winners of the station’s 2023 Writing Contest. Administered by the AZPBSkids LEARN! team with support from Primavera, this year’s contest encouraged kindergarten through fifth grade students to write about the school of the future. From March 29 to April 29, the station received more than 100 contest submissions with winning entries selected by a panel of judges in recent weeks and celebrated with an event at the station on Saturday, June 10.

Comprised of staff from both Arizona PBS and Primavera, the panel of judges identified first, second and third-place selections for each grade level. First-place selections received a Thinkpad and a $100 savings bond; second-place selections received a POGO Pass and a $50 savings bond; and third-place selections received a 3D drawing pen and a $25 savings bond. Please see below for a complete list of winners:

Kindergarten
  • First Place: Pharaoh Johnson
  • Second Place: DeRay Sloss, Jr.
  • Third Place: Zara Nahar
First Grade
  • First Place: Elle Fields
  • Second Place: Liberty Sharpe
  • Third Place: Mia Nickman
Second Grade
  • First Place: Maedini Pandit
  • Second Place: Elli Kauffroath
  • Third Place: Jeremiah Alahaydoin
Third Grade
  • First Place: Elizabeth Beckstein
  • Second Place: Lavender Walters
  • Third Place: Kieran Harling
Fourth Grade
  • First Place: Lyric Sharpe
  • Second Place: Diana DeAngelis
  • Third Place: Giselle De La Ree
Fifth Grade
  • First Place: Natalie Richards
  • Second Place: Ella Ebey
  • Third Place: Giselle Barraza

In addition to celebrating these winning authors, Saturday’s event also included a tour of Arizona PBS’ studios, “Sesame Street”-themed cupcakes and a fictional character development workshop. Children’s book author Phoebe Fox of Mamafox Books was also in attendance to read her book, “Julian Blooms.”

This annual writing contest is part of Arizona PBS’ larger AZPBSkids LEARN! initiative, which encompasses the station’s robust educational outreach activities.

“Our team is tasked with promoting literacy, creativity and writing skills, as well as creating excitement about education across the state of Arizona,” said Kimberly Flack, Senior Director of Education and Community Impact for Arizona PBS. “Not only does this annual writing contest tick all of those boxes, it also gives us the opportunity to collaborate with a great community partner, like Primavera.”

Primavera Online School® is a tuition-free, public charter school providing Arizona students in grades K-12 with a rigorous, award-winning curriculum and personalized attention from highly qualified instructors. Primavera Online is Cognia accredited.

“We were so pleased to partner with Arizona PBS and sponsor this year’s writing contest that asked students to imagine what the future of school might look like,” said Jessica Pagoulatos, Executive Director at Primavera Online. “As one of the first in Arizona to enter the online space, we at Primavera like to think of our school as being at the forefront of what school will be like in the future.”

For more information on the 2023 Writing Contest, visit our website here. For more on the station’s AZPBSkids LEARN! activities, visit our Education hub.

About Arizona PBS

Arizona PBS is one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, with four broadcast channels and a growing array of digital platforms. A trusted community resource for 60 years, Arizona PBS fosters lifelong learning through quality programming, in-depth news coverage and critical educational outreach services. It is one of the country’s largest public television stations, reaching 80 percent of Arizona homes and 1.9 million households each week. Arizona PBS has been part of ASU since the station launched in 1961. Learn more at https://azpbs.org.

About Primavera Online School®

Primavera Online School® is a tuition-free, public charter school providing Arizona students in grades K-12 with a rigorous, award-winning curriculum and personalized attention from highly qualified instructors. Primavera Online is Cognia accredited. Visit www.primaveraonline.com for more.

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