• May 15, 2019

    Streams kindergartner named writing contest finalist

    Sarah Sakowitz A Streams Elementary kindergarten student is one of 27 finalists in the 2019 WQED Writers Contest. Six-year-old Sarah Sakowitz’s story, “The Dragonfly That Lived,” was selected from among more than 1,000 entries from throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

    The public is invited to vote for the “Reader’s Choice Winner” from May 24-31. All 27 finalists’ stories will be available to read and listen to via WQED’s Writers Contest page at www.writeonkids.org.

    Sarah’s story, “The Dragonfly That Lived,” is a true story about when her aunt had a dragonfly in her house and the many things she tried to get rid of it.

    “Sarah brainstormed a few ideas, but nothing was working out. Then one night, Sarah was talking to Aunt Megan on FaceTime when a dragonfly flew in. Sarah watched Aunt Megan deal with the intruder all while laughing uproariously,” Karen Sakowitz, Sarah’s mom, said. “That's when the idea for this story hit her.”

    Aunt Megan is Megan O’Matz, an investigative reporter for the Sun Sentinel newspaper in South Florida.

    “Aunt Megan has taught us that words matter,” Mrs. Sakowitz said. “They inform, persuade and entertain readers. We hope that Sarah's story makes people laugh.”

    Sarah and Mrs. Sakowitz have not yet shared the story or the news that Sarah is a finalist with Aunt Megan yet. 

    “It'll be a big surprise when she reads it on the computer soon,” Mrs. Sakowitz said. “Sarah can't wait to see the reaction on her face!”

    According to her mom, Sarah loves school! In fact, the thing that she likes most about Streams Elementary School is her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kopicko, who she describes as both fun and funny. Outside of school, Sarah takes ballet and gymnastics lessons. She is involved in Girl Scouts too. She loves to create works of art, read books and help her mom around the house. She is looking forward to visiting Aunt Megan in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this summer. (Dragonflies are not invited.)

    Winners of the 2019 Writers Contest will be announced at the Winners Red Carpet celebration on Friday, May 31 at WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio in Oakland. Prizes include the opportunity to record winning stories, which will be broadcast on iQKidsRadio.org and featured on Saturday Light Brigade Radio this summer.

    Winners in the kindergarten through grade three category will have their stories made into an original puppet play. Winners in grades four, five and STEM categories will have their stories made into music videos, which will be played at the celebration by Pittsburgh Puppet Works.

    2019 WQED Writers Contest Finalists:


    • Evelyn Mascaro, Hampton Township
    • Jack Ford, Bethel Park
    • Olivia Burrow, Quakertown
    • Sarah Sakowitz, Upper St. Clair
    • Vihaan Rathi, North Hills


    • Alexis King, Bethel Park
    • Bernadette Cate, State College
    • Elijah Wharton, Hampton Township
    • Gianna Nickola, Peters Township


    • Aarav Ridhan Parthiban, Scott Township
    • Arjun Kairi, Pittsburgh
    • Coleman Yengst, Salisbury Township
    • Isaac Chapman, New Castle
    • Olivia Anderson, Bethel Park


    • Alexis Faltot, Natrona Heights
    • Devin Kilpela, Pittsburgh
    • Lily Haberman, Hampton
    • Sydney Kellander, Bethel Park


    • Adele Stamenov, Bethel Park
    • Annaleigh Dwulit, Mt. Lebanon
    • Connor Dickey, Brentwood Borough
    • Kiya Krinjeck, Richfield


    • Areesha Nouman, Westlake, Ohio
    • Clare Troll, Somerset
    • Felicity Koble, West Deer
    • Samantha Strope, Jefferson Hills
    • Sienna Terpak, Williamsport