April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

JFK Essay Contest; Toyota Video Challenge; Gale Cengage Grant; Hunger Games Mental Mapping | SLJTeen News

JFK Profile in Courage 2015 Essay Contest Now Open for Submissions

The annual Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites students from across the nation to write an essay describing an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1956. The competition is sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and generously supported by John Hancock Financial.

JFKcourageessayWith a first place prize totaling $10,000 and additional $1,000 and $500 prizes, this is a fantastic opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in his 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles in Courage (Harper),which recounts the stories of eight senators who risked their careers by taking principled stands for unpopular positions . Students are asked to write an original and creative essay of 1,000 words or less; the deadline for entries is Monday, January 5.

Students and educators will find complete information on the award, eligibility, and past winners at the Profile in Courage Essay Contest website.

Promote Teen Driver Safety: Toyota and Discovery Education Video Challenge

teendrive365Toyota and Discovery Education have partnered to launch the 2014-2015 TeenDrive365 Video Challenge.  Formerly known as the Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge, the initiative is now in its fourth year and invites teens across the U.S. to create short videos to inspire their friends and family to drive safely and avoid distractions. Research shows that the first year after a teen gets their license will be one of the most dangerous years of their life.

Ten finalists will be chosen and their entries will be posted online for public vote.  The winner of the public vote will receive the People’s Choice Award along with a $5,000 cash prize and a trip to see a taping of a Velocity network show.

Additionally, a panel of judges will select a first, second, and third place winner.  The winners will be selected based on the creativity, content, and presentation of their videos.  The grand prize winner will receive a $15,000 cash prize and work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video as a professional, TV-ready PSA.  The second place winner get a $10,000 cash prize along with a trip to attend a taping of a Velocity network show and the third place winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

Last year, more than 1,000 videos were submitted by teens from all 50 states.  Teens can submit entries through March 16, 2015.  Complete details on the submission process as well as resources for parents, educators, and student can be found at TeenDrive365.

ALA’s Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award

dollarsignHere’s a great opportunity to put your library’s successful financial development project in the limelight—nominate it for the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award funded by Gale Cengage, Inc.  Any public, school, or academic library is eligible, and with a winning purse of $2500, it is well worth the time and effort to submit an application.

The award recognizes an innovative, creative, well-organized project which successfully developed income from alternative sources. The alternative sources may include, but are not limited to: individual gifts, foundations, endowments, “challenge” grants, and related efforts. American Library Association is now accepting online nominations—deadline for submission is December 1. Winners will be selected by the end of February 2015 and announced in early March 2015.

Teaching Mental Mapping, Inspired by The Hunger Games

Panem MapJust in time for the November 21 theater release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, reference publisher ABC-CLIO is inviting junior high and high school students to channel the book’s to win $100 worth of ABC-CLIO books for their school’s library and movie tickets. The contest requires teens to work in small groups to create a mental map of the nation of Panem and reproduce that geographic region on paper. Each mental map and corresponding reflection will count as one entry into the contest. The deadline to submit an entry is December 5, and winners will be announced December 12. For more details on the contest, mental mapping, and geography concepts visit Reel to Reel from ABC-CLIO.

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Dodie Ownes About Dodie Ownes

Dodie Ownes left the glamorous world of retrospective conversion and disco to jump on the library vendor train. Since then, she has been learning at the feet of the masters about all things library. Dodie lives in Golden, Colorado, where even the sign which arches the main street says "Howdy."



  1. Pamela Voyles says:

    Thank you so much for the information for the JFK Essay Contest and the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge. I shared the information with a couple of teachers and posted the contest information for students in the library and a hallway bulletin board.