Wayland schools seeking community’s votes for Follet Challenge

Wayland Union Schools has entered a $200,000 Follet Challenge national education contest, hoping for a chance at one of the 13 prizes that will be awarded to recognize the best in K-12 innovation.

Besides completing an on-line application for the fourth annual contest, Wayland submitted a short video to promote its innovative program that teaches students the 21st century skills they need to be prepared for life.

Ten of the prizes, valued at $8,000 each, to be given away are from the “People’s Choice” category and will be based solely on how many votes applicants have received for videos from the public.  The video is now posted on the Follett Challenge website (FollettChallenge.com) under the “View Entries” tab.

Video voting begins Jan. 19

After registering, users can cast one vote per day through Jan. 30.  Not only are the public’s votes significant in the video voting portion of the contest, but they also will play a role in the overall rubric, as 20 percent of each school’s final score is based on the number of votes generated for their video.

“We hope our community will support us by viewing our video and voting for our submission,” said Teresa Fulk, director of technology and media services. “Participating in the Follett Challenge recognizes our educators for the great job they are doing with the limited resources they have and, should we win, reward them with resources to do more. It also will give our educators here a platform to share their innovation with other schools across the country and throughout the world.

“Last year, our district won $35,000, we were able to enhance the collections in all six of our district libraries and purchase a lot of digital content that can be accessed by students even when school is not in session.”

With a total prize value of $200,000 in products and services from Follett – a global education solutions leader – the overall winner will earn a $60,000 prize, plus a celebration at the school, while each of the other three semifinalists will earn $30,000 prizes. The 10 “People’s Choice” awards are worth $8,000 each in products and services and will be announced Feb. 13, along with the semifinalists. This year’s Follett Challenge will honor semifinalist winners in three categories: elementary, middle and high school schools.

Judges will seek applications that illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. Last year’s grand-prize winner was Belleville West High School in Belleville, Ill. The 2015 grand-prize winner will be announced April 30.

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