The Follett Challenge is back—but this year the prize money has doubled and the pool of eligible applicants has expanded from just media specialists to all K-12 educators who best align their curriculum to teach 21st-century critical thinking skills.
Developed by Chuck Follett, Follett Corporation’s president and CEO, the contest will award six schools with $200,000 worth of products and services from Follett, a provider of educational tools and services to schools.
Last year, six lucky school libraries won grants ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 for their efforts to apply technology to engage students, foster literacy, and promote critical thinking.
This year, educators from all K-12 public and private schools are encouraged to apply if they’ve designed programs that develop critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration between students and educators. Applicants will be asked to submit a three- to five-minute video, as well as provide an overview of the program and how it has impacted student advancement with 21st century skills.
Registration is now open for eligible applicants and the deadline is January 4, 2013.
“Our goal for the Follett Challenge moving forward is to promote and advocate for the educators who are innovative in the way they approach 21st century education and discover how they are preparing students for life-long learning,” says Tom Schenck, president and COO of Follett School and Library Group. “By focusing the Follett Challenge on programs that encourage students to become more efficient and effective learners using today’s technology tools, we will be able to recognize educators for doing a great job regardless of the resources available in their district. And for the winners, we will be able to reward them to do even more.”
Six winners will be selected, with two grand-prize winners each earning $60,000 in products and services from Follett, while the remaining prizes will range from $35,000 to $5,000. The top five winners will be selected by a panel of judges, and the sixth winner will be awarded to the school whose video receives the most online votes from the public. The “People’s Choice” voting will begin February 6, 2013.
All winners will be announced on April 3, 2013, with celebrations scheduled the following month at the two grand prize winning schools.
The Follett Challenge is open to all public and private K-12 schools in the United States and Canada. International schools that meet the criteria can also apply.
One Follett Challenge winner from last year, Isabel Chipungu, a media specialist at Ocoee Elementary in Florida, said that winning has allowed her school “to take learning in a completely new direction.”
“We purchased new and rigorous nonfiction title, as well as databases and a beginning collection of electronic books,” said Chipungu, who will be a judge for the 2012-13 Follett Challenge. “We are looking forward to preparing our students for future success and our library is ready to meet the new Common Core state standards.”
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