‘Empowering Innovation’ – Fourth Annual Follett Challenge To Launch Monday

$200,000 Contest to Recognize Leading Examples of K-12 Programs Teaching 21st Century Skills to Students


MCHENRY, Ill., Oct. 2, 2014 – The fourth annual Follett Challenge, which will highlight and reward the most innovative K-12 programs that teach 21st century skills to students, launches its 2014-15 contest Monday, Oct. 6.

“Our contest’s new tagline, ‘Follett Challenge – Empowering Innovation’ speaks to the idea that we’re not just rewarding innovative educators, but empowering them to share their stories and do more,” said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. “Doing more with less is another theme we consistently see from the schools, and it is an ongoing source of pride for Follett to reward these passionate educators with resources to do even more.”

With $200,000 available in products and services from Follett — a leading education solutions provider — the contest’s three semifinalists each will earn a $30,000 prize. The grand-prize winner, to be selected from the three semifinalists, will earn an additional $30,000, plus a celebration at their school. Ten $8,000 prizes will be awarded to “People’s Choice” winners — those schools that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their submitted videos.

Since its debut, the Follett Challenge has evolved from focusing on libraries to include the entire school. The 2014-15 Follett Challenge is open to submissions from the full spectrum of classroom teachers, technology specialists, administrators, PTAs, and, of course, librarians.

Last year’s grand-prize winner was Belleville West High School in southern Illinois. The school won for its cutting-edge “Community of Readers” program, which challenges students in each grade level to become avid and engaged pleasure readers. The other semifinalists were Albert P. Terhune Elementary School in Wayne, N.J.; Memorial and Thomas Jefferson middle schools in Fair Lawn, N.J.; and Wayland Union Schools in Wayland, Mich.

“One of the greatest things about being grand-prize winner in the Follett Challenge is it has allowed us to share this incredible ‘Community of Readers’ program with other schools across the country,” said John Lodle, English department chair, Belleville West High. “Knowing that teachers in other districts have learned about what we’re doing through the Follett Challenge is very gratifying.”

Lodle, one of five judges for the 2014-15 Follett Challenge, said his school with its grand prize winnings is “adding a lot of new books, ebooks, and subscriptions from the Follett catalog to our school’s library.” Belleville West formally celebrated its win two weeks ago with a special student assembly at its school, which featured the presentation of the Follett Challenge trophy by top Follett executives.

To participate in this year’s contest, entrants must complete an online application and upload a three- to five-minute video describing their program. The judges will be seeking applications that illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. Eighty percent of each entrant’s score will be based on the judges’ opinion of the entry, with the remaining 20 percent based on the number of votes generated for the school’s video.

Key 2014-15 contest dates are:

  • Oct. 6, 2014: Contest formally launches on www.follettchallenge.com, and entries open
  • Jan. 9, 2015: Entries close
  • Jan. 19, 2015: Video voting begins
  • Jan. 30, 2015: Video voting closes
  • Feb. 13, 2015: Semifinalists and 10 video winners announced
  • April 30, 2015: Grand-prize winner announced


For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit www.follettchallenge.com.


# # #

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business | follettlearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporation| follett.com

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.


ABC-CLIO Wins 2014 EDDIE Awards for Best Social Studies and African American Studies Websites

  • Honored for World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society and The American Mosaic: The African American Experience

Santa Barbara, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2014)ABC-CLIO Solutions, an award-winning digital curriculum resource, is the recipient of two EDDIE Awards from ComputED Gazette. These resources were recognized in the high school category under best social studies website for World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society, and under the African American studies website for The American Mosaic: The African American Experience.

“It is important for students to understand the way that war and the African American experience shaped our society, which is why we have focused on these areas,” said Becky Snyder, ABC-CLIO President. “The EDDIE awards highlight our commitment to provide students and teachers with innovative, challenging learning tools that help students think about complex issues and prepare for college and career.”

World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society provides comprehensive information about the military conflicts that have defined our world. Its content helps students and educators develop a deeper understanding of both world history and the cost of war across the globe. Students have the opportunity to model their research upon thesis-driven, peer-reviewed essays on multiple topics. World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society focuses on the causes and consequences of war and was developed by accomplished military historians from around the world. This Solution also includes access to ABC-CLIO’s exclusive CLIOView, a statistical tool allowing students to instantly access information and data in a variety of formats that facilitates deep analysis and thoughtful comparison.

The American Mosaic: The African American Experience was developed with the guidance of African American librarians and subject specialists as a research tool and resource for African American history and culture and can be incorporated with core social studies courses to give students another perspective on complex concepts throughout history. This collection offers a wide range of easy-to-use resources about African American life. Users can access a deep library of rich multi-media content, including more than 50 topical overviews and nearly 1,000 biographies of famous political and social figures throughout history.

World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society and The American Mosaic: The African American Experience are part of the ABC-CLIO Solutions suite that integrates three essential components into each of its 15 subject-specific online resources: a comprehensive and topic-specific reference library, an online textbook updated daily and a deep collection of model commentary that exposes students to a variety of authoritative perspectives, helping them develop critical thinking skills and write informed essays. Additionally, subscription to these resources comes with access to an Educator Support Center, complete with standards-aligned lesson plans, customizable activities, tutors, and wizards.

“Schools with quality subscription databases outperform schools without them,” said Snyder. “With thousands of primary sources, topical overviews, and scholarly perspectives about war and African American history and culture, ABC-CLIO’s databases turn students from passive to active learners and traditional classrooms into inquiry learning labs.”

This announcement marks the eleventh year in a row that ABC-CLIO has been recognized by the EDDIE Awards for excellence in education software. ABC-CLIO continues to innovate as a leader in online resources that enhance the educational experience by promoting critical thinking, 21st-century learning, and student achievement.

The ComputEd Gazette, a leading online educational resource created by educators who have provided the finest computer education to children and adults for over 19 years, sponsors the Education Software Review (EDDIE) Awards. The EDDIE Awards target original and content-rich programs and websites that enhance classroom curriculum and improve teacher efficiency. Products are submitted from publishers worldwide. All entries undergo thorough review by experts in the field whose selection criteria include content quality, potential for broad classroom use, and technical value.

For more information on these award-winning resources, visit www.abc-clio.com.

For more information about the EDDIE Awards, visit http://computedgazette.com/page4.html.

About ABC-CLIO Solutions

ABC-CLIO Solutions is an online resource that offers authoritative, up-to-date coverage of essential topics in U.S. history and government, world history, geography, and a range of multicultural and popular culture subjects. Created specifically for students in middle and high school, higher education, and public library settings, the suite of 15 online databases provides comprehensive, authoritative reference content, gives students a deeper understanding of coursework, and offers critical thinking explorations of more than 500 scholarly dilemmas that challenge students to think critically and reach their own conclusions. Learn more at http://www.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOSolutions.aspx.




Funds For Learning Unveils GuideMarks™ for Fostering Shared Growth

Book shares tips to nurture healthy and productive working environments

We strive to foster a positive work environment that delivers success for our clients and develops team members who are happy, healthy and growing as individuals. We hope that this book will help other organizations do the same.

(PRWEB) October 02, 2014

Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate consulting firm, releases “GuideMarks™—Fostering Shared Growth,” a free book that describes how to build and refine a positive, encouraging and healthy workplace. Authored by CEO John Harrington and inspired by Funds For Learning’s corporate culture, the book contains 18 GuideMarks for creating and sustaining positive work environment in businesses, districts or schools.

“At Funds For Learning we understand that each of us, working together, creates our organization’s culture,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “We strive to foster a positive work environment that delivers success for our clients and develops team members who are happy, healthy and growing as individuals. We hope that this book will help other organizations do the same.”

Anchored on respect, honesty, trust and integrity, each GuideMark is illustrated by personal anecdotes from Harrington. GuideMarks include:

  •     Reinforce the Good
  •     Reliability
  •     Understand the Reason
  •     Neatness Counts
  •     And more

To download “GuideMarks™—Fostering Shared Growth,” for free visit:http://www.fundsforlearning.com/guidemarkbook.php.About Funds For Learning

Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student Internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visithttp://www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.


ASCD Announces 70th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show Registration and Invited Speakers

Alexandria, VA (10/2/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce the 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. The conference will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from March 21–23, 2015, and will showcase proven strategies for educators of all roles, from best practices for classroom management and student engagement to leading and inspiring entire school communities.

Centered on the theme “Challenging Convention: Leading Disruptive Innovations,” attendees from around the world and at all levels of education will be asked this question: “In this time of uncertainty and the need for global connectivity, will you rise to the challenge to learn, teach, and lead?” Attendees will have more than 350 concurrent sessions to choose from on topics such as effective school leadership, teaching and learning in a digital age, personal resiliency, and the myths and realities of the education profession. For full details visit www.ascd.org/annualconference.

“Each year, we look forward to bringing together thousands of educators from around the world to learn and share at our Annual Conference and Exhibit Show,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “In 2015, we will challenge educators to embrace changes in teaching and learning, to be leaders of change through professional development, and to eliminate achievement gaps.”

Three invited speakers will headline the event by presenting the three general sessions:

Sarah Lewis—The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
First General Session
Saturday, March 21, 10:00–11:45 a.m.
In this session, author, curator, and historian Sarah Lewis will offer a new understanding of what enables creative endeavors. Drawing on famous figures such as Frederick Douglass, Angela Duckworth, and J.K. Rowling, Lewis will reveal how play, grit, surrender, dismissed ideas, experiments, and follow-ups lead to breakthroughs. Lewis believes that the path to success may be more surprising than you think.

Nicholas Negroponte—The Future of Education
Second General Session
Sunday, March 22, 10:00–11:45 a.m.
Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, asserts that we’ve been sharing the wrong message about entrepreneurship and success. In this session, Negroponte will draw from personal experiences to explain how and why we can make the innovation process exciting and rewarding, regardless of outcome.

Peter Yarrow, formerly of Peter, Paul, and Mary—Free Concert
Third General Session
Sunday March 22, 5:00–6:30 p.m.
For the first time, ASCD’s third general session will be a concert event. Singer and activist Peter Yarrow will perform many familiar songs from successful folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, with an emphasis on songs about human rights and social justice. The concert will aim to inspire the audience and recommit them to the objectives of ASCD and Yarrow’s own work with his nonprofit organization, Operation Respect, which is focused on combatting school violence.

In addition to these presentations and hundreds of concurrent sessions, the 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show will include other events such as book signings, author talks, and school improvement forums. The author talks will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear about their favorite ASCD books directly from the authors who wrote them and ask the pressing questions they’ve always wanted to ask. During school improvement forums, attendees will see demonstrations of the free, online ASCD School Improvement Tool and find out how schools and districts are using the tool to perform comprehensive needs assessments and reaffirm their commitment to the whole child.

The 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show will also feature a number of special events. On Friday, March 20 from 5:00–7:00 p.m., attendees will kick off their conference experience with food, fun, and the opportunity to network with fellow educators from around the world at the welcome reception, sponsored by Discovery Education. On Saturday, March 21 from 6:30–9:30 p.m., ASCD will host a meet-up, Saturday Night Strikes: #ASCD15 Bowling Social, at Lucky Strike in Houston. Attendees will join fellow educators and social media users for good company, free bowling, and complimentary pizza, sliders, and appetizers.

Educators can follow the conference conversation and check out photos from all around the convention center by using #ASCD15 on Twitter and Instagram.

To register for the 70th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, visit the conference website,http://annualconference.ascd.org. Early-bird pricing, at $289 for ASCD members and $355 for nonmembers, is available through January 21, 2015. Learn more ways to save on registration by visiting the registration page. To learn more about ASCD and the benefits associated with becoming a member, visit www.ascd.org.

2014 annual conference

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visitwww.ascd.org.



208-576_MCH_Infographic_FNLMCH Strategic Data offers cost-effective education marketing data that achieves higher campaign results

Sweet Springs, Mo. (Sept. 29, 2014)­ – The leading provider of real-time educational marketing data, MCH Strategic Data, releases an infographic depicting the frequency of school personnel changes and the optimal time for education marketing. Data for the infographic was gathered through MCH’s Monitor Service, a real-time data compiling service for sales, marketing and management professionals, allowing marketers to reach a quarter more of the market. This revolutionary K-12 data compilation ensures names are accurate, reducing bounce backs and delivering the highest marketing results.

“Real-time updates mean real-time marketing,” said John F. Hood, president of MCH Strategic Data. “Every school makes updates during the summer, but 10-30 percent also make personnel changes each month of the school year, which is why we update our database frequently.”

MCH’s analysis reveals the greatest amount of staff personnel changes occur between July and September, pinpointing October as the peak time to reach new personnel. In several studies, MCH had 25 to 31 percent more unique educator names than similar lists. Many of these names are first-year teachers, which studies show are more willing to buy supplementary materials.

“Many education marketers believe it is the size of the list that matters, but it is accuracy that creates the best results,” said Hood. “MCH verifies school personnel and their contact information monthly, garnering more impressive marketing results. Plus, it’s less expensive, in some cases, half the price because of better quality names.”

The infographic was created with data from MCH’s Monitor Service, which provides quality updates of school and personnel data within five weeks or less of appearing on a school website, letting marketers reach potential customers as quickly as possible.

The full infographic is available for download at http://mchdata.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/MCH-Monitor-Infograph.pdf

About MCH Strategic Data

MCH Strategic Data compiles comprehensive K-12 marketing databases, and provides email, direct mail, telemarketing, online, social media, and geospatial marketing solutions focused on more than 5 million K-12 educators. With the launch of Infinite Access and Monitor Service, MCH is the unparalleled provider of solutions for education sales and marketing. The Sweet Springs, Mo. company focuses on business-to-institution markets, includes government agencies, hospitals, medical practices, schools, school districts, and churches. For more information, visit http://www.mchdata.com.


For more information contact:

–Rochelle Hockett, MCH Strategic Data, 800-776-6373, rochelleh@mchdata.com

–Olivia Hoff, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc., 608-216-7300 ext. 22, olivia@cblohm.com