TV show brings girl’s story to life

schandler@newsobserver.comFebruary 24, 2013 

  • See the video

    You can view the video made from Vicki Maas’ story at Check out other videos and find creative writing ideas for kids and resources for parents and teachers at the “Green Screen Adventures” website,

Vicki Maas routinely watches “Green Screen Adventures” on TV with her mom on Saturday mornings. But a recent episode had a very personal flavor.

The show that aired during WRAZ-TV’s Me-TV programming on Feb. 16 brought to life a story Vicki submitted about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

In the episode, the show’s two clowns receive clear instructions on how to make a PB and J (from Vicki’s story) and a bologna and cheese sandwich (from another student’s submission), only to make a last-minute mistake that results in some very unusual recipes.

Vicki, a fourth-grader at Bailey Elementary School in Nash County, was inspired to write the story after watching an earlier “Green Screen Adventures” episode that featured a sandwich.

“It came to me pretty quickly,” she said, “because I always see my mother making it, so it’s pretty easy for me to remember how to make it.”

The show, made in Chicago, selects writing and illustrations from young students around the country and presents them using actors, puppets and other creative means. The aim is to inspire students to create and understand that their expression has power.

Seeing her writing get the “Green Screen Adventures” treatment was a thrill, Vicki said.

“I felt kind of excited,” she said, “because it was the first time I’ve ever seen something of mine put on TV.”

When the show’s producers sent the family a link to the video last fall, they hooked up their laptop to the TV and watched it together.

“She was a little apprehensive at first to see what they were going to do,” said Vicki’s father, Jeff Maas. “But as they got to the end and they started putting it together she kind of watched it with interest, and then … she laughed.”

Her mom and dad were impressed with Vicki’s accomplishment. The story, which Vicki wrote when she was in second grade, was the “first kind of structured thing she wrote,” her dad said.

“I thought it was pretty neat that something she’d written they wrote into a script to put on TV,” he said.

Vicki said she was proud of her work, too.

“It’s the first time I’ve actually finished writing the story without crumpling it up and throwing it away,” she said.

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