Phoenix, Ariz. April 10, 2010Eight's Educational Outreach division-ASSET and Qwest Foundation announced the winners of the Qwest Storymakers Middle School Writing Contest today at an awards ceremony and author workshop/lecture held at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix. The event included a lecture presented by Terri Fields, a former Arizona Teacher of the Year and author of children's and young adult books including, Danger in the Desert, Counting Arizona's Treasures, After the Death of Anna Gonzales, Burro's Tortillas, My Father’s Son and Holdup.


Eight received more than 1,400 entries for the contest from students across Arizona. First place prizes were awarded in 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels in three separate categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry.


"Qwest started this program three years ago in Colorado as a way to energize middle school students around creative writing and we're proud to bring it to Arizona students," said Jim Campbell, Qwest Arizona president. "As a provider of advanced broadband technology, Qwest encourages out of the box thinking and the ability to communicate those ideas in writing - both of which are critical skills in the technology world today."


The winning students and stories include:


First Place - Non-Fiction: Jana Foehle, 6th grade, Mountainside Elementary School, Scottsdale — My Tooth Story

Gabriela B., 7th grade, Sonoran Tradash; Change of Fate


Valerie Portolano, 8th grade, Fountain Hills Unified, Fountain Hills — White Walls of Misery


First Place - Fiction: Anthony Mirabito, 6th grade, Neely Elementary School, Gilbert — Ransack Revenge


Tessa Reinhart, 7th grade, Altadena Middle School, Phoenix — Dare to Care

Delilah Cassidy, 8th grade, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, Casa Grande — Color War


- Poetry: Julia Luzi, 6th grade, Pinnacle Peak Elementary, ScottsdaleScrumptious Treats

Daria Earley, 7th grade, Canyon Ridge, Surprise —  

Rachel Beglin, 8th grade, Bogle Junior High School, ChandlerDay by Day ...


The prizes -  Netbook laptops - were donated by Qwest Pioneers Arizona Chapter, in honor of a bequest from Pioneer Frieda Graham.

All of the winning stories are available online at:


About the Qwest Foundation

The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.


About the Qwest Pioneers

Founded in 1911, Pioneers is a non-profit network of volunteers more than 620,000 volunteers strong committed to serving our communities in the United States, Canada and beyond. As long as there's , Pioneers answer the call for help in every way imaginable. For more information about Pioneers, visit their Web site or call 1-800-976-1914.


About Eight's Educational Outreach

Arizona Pre K-12 students benefit from outreach programs and educator professional development distributed statewide by Eight Educational Outreach-ASSET. For more information visit


About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS
specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture &acommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961.  Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems.  With more than 1.3 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country.  Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. For more information, visit

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.