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Follett 100K Challenge Winners Announced!

‘This awafollett Follett 100K Challenge Winners Announced!rd means that we can add more relevant and exciting materials to our program and continue the momentum for years to come.’ — Isabel Chipungu, media specialist, Ocoee Elementary School.

One of the big events at AASL11 was the announcement of the winners of the Follett 100K Challenge.  The six Follett Challenge Winners–selected for their application of technology, content, and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and promote critical thinking–were honored at an October 27th ceremony and awarded a total of $100,000 worth  products and services.

Beyond Chuck Follett’s incredibly generous gift to six deserving library programs, is another gift–a living archive of effective practice.  A way for us to show those who’ve never seen it, what library looks like.  I hope that these videos, inspired by the Follett Challenge, can be shared as evidence and used in advocacy efforts.

This Follett Challenge Rocks Library Advocacy video compiles the 123 video entries, representing the creativity and determination of librarians around the country as they strive to make an impact on their school’s classroom curriculum to help our children.

1st Place- Creating a Culture of Literacy $35,000 Isabel Chipungu – Media Specialist, Ocoee Elementary, Orange County Public Schools, FL Isabel created a rap video to convey how her school library program is meeting the Follett Challenge! She works with grades K-5 with a focus on Science and Vocabulary development in addition to school-wide reading challenges. The media center makes use of digital whiteboards, digital databases and digital storytelling activities to improve skills and keep learning fun.

2nd Place- 21st Century Learning Libratory $20,000. Teresa Diaz – Librarian-Eisenhower Middle School-North East ISD, TX “Where the Library Meets the ‘Laboratory’- Eisenhower Middle School calls this the Libratory! The video showcases students enthusiastically working on collaborative projects using many different digital and print resources and programs.


3rd Place- History our Way Jennifer Northrup – Media Coordinator- Flat Rock Middle School, Henderson County Public Schools, NC  An eighth grade Social Studies teacher and a middle school Media Specialist developed an American History research project that allowed their students to get out of the classroom and get creative using multiple research resources and multimedia tools to present their final presentations.

4th Place- Mastering the Art of Literacy at SVHS Kay Wejrowski – Library Media Specialist-Swan Valley High School-Swan Valley School District, MI The SVHS library media center implements educational programs that prepare students for success in the 21st century. Some examples of 21st century learning programs implemented by SVHS include evaluating the latest adventure novel in a tropical paradise, talking to authors and Holocaust survivors in real time via interactive television, and group book discussions. These programs run on a school budget that hasn’t changed in 20 years along with additional donations and grants.

5th Place- A 21st Century Library at its Best! Casey Veatch – District Librarian-Bennett School District 29, CO The Bennett School Library has become a model program that fuses traditional resources with the latest technology and Web 2.0 tools for students to research, create, share and publish their work.


6th Place- Books and Beyond Laura Healy – Media Specialist- Randall Carter Elementary School- Wayne Board of Education, NJ  The media center for Randall Carter Elementary School is the “epicenter” of technology and textbooks.  The media center has implemented a reading program that encourages their students to read across genres by using creative techniques to encourage participation and foster excitement, one of which is by hosting 1-2 authors per year.  The media center also has a gaming day that encourages gaming on both computers and board games.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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