MCHENRY, Ill., Dec. 14, 2012 – With just three weeks remaining before the Jan. 4 entry deadline for the 2012-13 Follett Challenge, Follett is again sweetening the deal as the company has announced it will throw a party for the contest's two grand-prize winners at their respective schools.
The Follett Challenge is an advocacy contest awarding a total of $200,000 worth of Follett products and services to six K-12 schools that are expertly aligning their curriculum to teach 21st century learning skills.
If prospective entrants are wondering whether to submit an entry with just three weeks remaining before the deadline, perhaps they should consider what last year's winners are saying about the impact the contest has had on their schools.
"Winning the Follett Challenge enabled our school to take learning in a completely new direction," said Isabel Chipungu, media specialist for Ocoee (Fla.) Elementary School, the $35,000 grand-prize winner of the inaugural Follett Challenge. "This achievement was the result of the whole school practicing our motto, ‘Focused on Learning & Achieving Success ... Everybody, Everyday'."
According to Teresa Diaz, instructional library media specialist for Eisenhower Middle School in San Antonio, her school's second-place finish in the Follett Challenge proved instrumental and came with a $20,000 prize worth of Follett products and services.
"The varied resources provided via winning the Follett Challenge has increased our kids' opportunities for exploring, experimenting, thinking, collaborating, creating, and ultimately, learning," Diaz said.
For Jenn Northrup, media coordinator at Flat Rock (N.C.) Middle School, participating in the 2011 Follett Challenge proved to be an "amazing boost for our school library."
"Winning the Follett Challenge allowed us to buy books in a year when we were not sure how that was going to happen," said Northrup, whose school finished in third place and won $15,000. "The exposure provided by Follett also brought libraries to the forefront by showing the value provided to their school communities. Every school should consider participating in the Follett Challenge!"
Casey Veatch, district librarian for Bennett (Colo.) School Library, called his school's participation in the Follett Challenge "an awesome adventure."
"One of the greatest experiences of my career as a librarian was being a finalist for the first Follett Challenge," said Veatch, whose school won the fifth-place prize of $10,000. "Thanks to the wonderful people at Follett, my library program was able to grow and better meet the needs of my students. We were able to start an eBook collection, which has been very popular with the students."
While the first Follett Challenge sought entries from solely school libraries, the 2012-13 contest has evolved and expanded to seek entries from educators throughout all departments in schools that are designing programs that develop critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration between students and among educators. It is open to all public and private K-12 schools in the United States and Canada, as well as American-run, English speaking international schools. Applicants are asked to submit a three- to five-minute video, as well as a written overview of the program describing how it has impacted student advancement with 21st century skills.
Six schools will win their share of $200,000, which is double the prize amount from last year's contest. The two grand-prize winners each will earn $60,000 in products and services from Follett, while the remaining prizes range in value from $35,000 to $5,000. The top five winners will be selected by a judges' panel, with sixth place – the "People's Choice" honor – to be awarded to the school whose video receives the most online votes from the public.
For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit www.follettchallenge.com.
About Follett School and Library Group
Follett (www.follett.com) 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.