MCHENRY, Ill.,Feb. 28, 2017 – With representation from schools spanning the country, organizers of the Follett Challenge today announced via video the 2017 competition's three Semifinalists and 10 People's Choice winners. Sponsored by Follett, the sixth annual Follett Challenge – an advocacy program that rewards groundbreaking educational programs – will reward $200,000 in Follett products and services to the most innovative K-12 programs teaching 21st-century skills to students.
The scoring for this year's Semifinalists – singled out by elementary, middle and high schools – were 80 percent based on the judges' rubric and 20 percent based on the number of People's Choice votes received. The three Semifinalists are:
- Elementary: USD 284 Chase County Elementary School; Strong City, Kan.; video: "Learning with Cattle"
- Middle: Highland Junior High School; Gilbert Public Schools; Mesa, Ariz.; video: "Friendship Project"
- High: Booker T. Washington High School; Escambia School District; Pensacola, Fla.; video: "Innovation Center Prepares Students for the 21st Century"
From the three, one Grand Prize winner will be chosen and announced April 28. The overall winner will earn a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services, plus a celebration at their school. The other two each will earn $30,000 in products and services.
The video announcement also revealed the 10 People's Choice winners – those schools whose video submissions received the highest number of online votes from the public. Each of the winning schools earns $8,000 in Follett products and services. The top 10 are:
- John B. Alexander High School; United ISD; Laredo, Texas;
- Marist High School; Chicago, Ill.;
- McGee Middle School; Berlin Public Schools; Berlin, Conn.
- Deer Park Elementary School; Baltimore County Public Schools; Owings Mills, Md.;
- Zela Davis Elementary School STEM Prep; Hawthorne, Calif.;
- Pearsontown Elementary School; Durham Public Schools; Durham, N.C.;
- Sunrise Elementary School; Cherry Creek Schools; Aurora, Colo.;
- Marion High School; Marion, Ind.;
- Mineola High School; Garden City Park, N.Y.;
- Swan Valley High School; Swan Valley School District; Saginaw, Mich.;
John B. Alexander High School was the competition's top vote getter with 10,163; Marist High School was second with 9,844.
"Since my father, Chuck, started this program six years ago, it has been fascinating to see how educators and students are constantly thinking of cool and unique ways to learn and be part of a better future," said Britten Follett, vice president of marketing for Follett School Solutions, who has spearheaded the Follett Challenge since its debut. "This year, with such a cross-section of the country represented among the semifinalists, we're reminded that innovation is alive and well in every corner of America. The Follett Challenge showcases all that is right with education, and we're happy to shine a light on some of the most forward-thinking programs in our country."
Follett Challenge entrants must complete an online application and submit a video describing their program. The judges seek applications illustrating critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration. All K-12 schools/districts, public and private, in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply.
For more information about the Follett Challenge, visit www.FollettChallenge.com; for more on Follett, visit www.follettlearning.com.
About Follett's PreK-12 Business
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
About Follett Corporation
For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus stores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett's reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today, Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.