The fourth annual Follett Challenge, which will highlight and reward the most innovative K-12 programs that teach 21st century skills to students, launches its 2014-15 contest Monday, Oct. 6.
“Our contest’s new tagline, ‘Follett Challenge – Empowering Innovation’, speaks to the idea that we’re not just rewarding innovative educators, but empowering them to share their stories and do more,” said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. “Doing more with less is another theme we consistently see from the schools, and it is an ongoing source of pride for Follett to reward these passionate educators with resources to do even more.”
With $200,000 available in products and services from Follett, the contest’s three semifinalists each will earn a $30,000 prize. The grand-prize winner, to be selected from the three semifinalists, will earn an additional $30,000, plus a celebration at their school. Ten $8,000 prizes will be awarded to “People’s Choice” winners — those schools that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their submitted videos.
Since its debut, the Follett Challenge has evolved from focusing on libraries to include the entire school. The 2014-15 Follett Challenge is open to submissions from the full spectrum of classroom teachers, technology specialists, administrators, PTAs, and, of course, librarians.
Last year’s grand-prize winner was Belleville West High School in southern Illinois. The school won for its cutting-edge “Community of Readers” program, which challenges students in each grade level to become avid and engaged pleasure readers. The other semifinalists were Albert P. Terhune Elementary School in Wayne, N.J.; Memorial and Thomas Jefferson middle schools in Fair Lawn, N.J.; and Wayland Union Schools in Wayland, Mich.
To participate in this year’s contest, entrants must complete an online application and upload a three- to five-minute video describing their program. The judges will be seeking applications that illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. Eighty percent of each entrant’s score will be based on the judges’ opinion of the entry, with the remaining 20 percent based on the number of votes generated for the school’s video.
Key 2014-15 contest dates are:
· Oct. 6, 2014: Contest formally launches on www.follettchallenge.com , and entries open
· Jan. 9, 2015: Entries close
· Jan. 19, 2015: Video voting begins
· Jan. 30, 2015: Video voting closes
· Feb. 13, 2015: Semifinalists and 10 video winners announced
· April 30, 2015: Grand-prize winner announced
For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit follettchallenge.com.
Source: Follett School Solutions, follettlearning.com