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PBS recognizes kids for winning writing

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 11:57 a.m.
WQED recently announced its 2018 winners in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest, including several from Westmoreland, Allegheny and Somerset counties.
WQED recently announced its 2018 winners in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest, including several from Westmoreland, Allegheny and Somerset counties.

During a recent celebration at its Fred Rogers Studio, WQED announced the winners of its 2018 PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

A record number of 5,882 votes were placed via an online portal in early May for the 26 finalists selected from more than 1,000 entries received throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey for this year's contest, according to a news release.

Ohio entrant Zoe Wolfe takes the 2018 “Reader's Choice” award for her story, “South Pole Santa,” with 642 votes.

This year's winners are:

• Kindergarten, first place, Elijah Wharton, Allison Park; second place, Jett Hoover, Murrysville; third place, McKenna Duzyk, Pittsburgh; honorable mention, David Magbagbeola, McDonald.

• First grade, first place, Aarav Partiban, Pittsburgh; second place, Jaivik Raval, Sewickley; third place, Harris Wannous, Bethel Park; honorable mention, Olivia Anderson, Bethel Park.

• Second grade, first place, Brycen Filus, Turtle Creek; second place, Rocco Romano, Venetia; third place, Christian Palmer, Venetia; honorable mention, Lily Haberman, Allison Park.

• Third grade, first place, Amelia Conklin, Sewickley; second place, Adele Stamenov, Bethel Park; third place, Waverly Cohen, Turtle Creek; honorable mention: Leo Muffi, Eighty Four.

• Fourth grade, first place, Clare Troll, Somerset; second place, Xerin Qireyffah, Pittsburgh; third place, Zoe Wolfe, North Canton, OH; honorable mention, Bayleigh Lowe, Amity.

• Fifth grade, first place, Elly Strittmatter, Bridgeville; second place, Caitlin Joyce, Pittsburgh; third place, Kyra Bobolsky, Pittsburgh; honorable mention, Marielle Wilson, Irwin.

• STEM, kindergarten-first Grade, Jaivik Raval, Sewickley; second grade-third grade, Connor Dickey, Pittsburgh; fourth grade-fifth grade, Melanie Brown, Allison Park.

The winners' stories, which they narrated, will be broadcast on and featured on Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) Radio throughout the summer.

All of the winners' stories are available to read and listen to at

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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