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News Release: Small Kansas Elementary School Beats Odds to Win Grand Prize in Sixth Annual Follett Challenge

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Small Kansas Elementary School Beats Odds to Win Grand Prize in Sixth Annual Follett Challenge 'Learning with Cattle' Program Earns School $60,000 in Follett Products, Services STRONG CITY, Kan., and MCHENRY, Ill., April 26, 2017 – Located 80 miles northeast of Wichita with a proud population of approximately 460 residents, Strong City, Kansas is renowned for its production of agriculture and cattle, and as annual host of the Flint Hills Rodeo. Now, the rural town's elementary school will be known as the grand-prize winner of the sixth annual Follett Challenge, a contest sponsored by Follett seeking the most innovative K-12 programs teaching 21 st -century skills in today's schools. For its winning entry, Chase County Elementary School — part of Chase County USD 284 with an enrollment of 180 students — earns a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services plus a celebration at their school. Judges for the Follett Challenge singled out the school's program, "Learning with Cattle", which finds students learning valuable STEM lessons and 21 st -century skills through projects involving the community and the local cattle industry. Fifth-grade students purchase, raise and sell calves to earn a profit, while learning by doing with the help of the community, use of technology, and creative approaches to solving problems. "It is incredible that a small rural school from Kansas can be the Grand Prize winner!" exclaimed Pam Bevan, Principal, Chase County Elementary School. "I am very proud of our students, staff, and community. This goes to show no matter how the odds may be stacked against you, when you always give your best effort, good things will happen." Rachel Matile's fifth-grade class learns required standards and 21st-century skills as they raise calves. "This project requires complex decision making, problem solving, and cooperation," Matile said. "These kids are taking responsibility for purchasing the calves, doing chores during school days and on weekends, and eventually selling them for a profit at the local sale barn. They're applying math, science and problem-solving skills along the way as they purchase feed, keep track of expenses, make needed repairs to the barn and face whatever situation comes along. "Communication skills are required in everything they do, as they document successes and challenges every day. The kids work with real ranchers, and local feed and hardware stores where they must demonstrate consistent communication skills in person, on the phone and in written correspondence."

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