We all have grand visions of the opportunities we would like to expose our students to, and the resources we would like to provide them with. However, as budgets seem to become tighter and tighter, our creativity in how we rise to the occasion becomes more and more challenged. Although time consuming, entering the Follett Challenge was a decision we are ABSOLUTEY THRILLED we made!
We were originally enticed by the monetary prize, but it quickly became evident the Challenge took on a life of its own, as our school video was earning nearly 1000 votes a day! School and community spirit was at an all-time high, and it became clear that every person counts and can make a difference. What a wonderful, authentic life lesson!! Our children were so excited to garnish the support (and votes!) of every neighbor, uncle, aunt, grandparent — basically ANYONE who would listen to them! — that they tirelessly pitched OUR school.
In viewing the video, our community was reminded that schools are indeed the heart of any community, and that children are indeed our most precious resource.
The Follett Challenge provided us with a platform to share the daily commitment of our teachers in consistently enhancing our teaching and learning environment, and it also provided us with great insight as to what other schools and communities do in their effort to achieve the same goal.
When it was announced live that our little elementary school had won the Popular Vote, after erupting in cheer, our children began singing our school song, loudly and proudly. THAT was a priceless moment, and one that I, and many, many others, will never forget.
Each month, I reveal a new set of “Follett Challenge” books to the children, and each time, their faces light up. The Follett Challenge is the gift that keeps on giving!