Follett Press Releases

Live Facebook Chat with Past Follett Challenge Winners Scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11

Enter the $200,000 Follett Challenge by February 28

MCHENRY, Feb 4, 2014 – The deadline to enter the third annual Follett Challenge is Friday, Feb. 28. A total of $200,000 in Follett products and services will be awarded to 15 different winners from all levels of education able to best demonstrate innovative approaches to 21st century learning.

"It's time to consider how you could use this challenge to advocate for your students and your school," wrote Matthew C. Winner as part of a recent entry on his blog, The Busy Librarian, in a challenge to his colleagues. "Take some time to browse the previous winners of the Follett Challenge and consider how you can share your school's story with the world. This is an opportunity to dream beyond budgets, beyond limitations."

With four weeks remaining for PreK-12 schools to enter the $200,000 Follett Challenge, the contest has scheduled a live Facebook chat with educators from two of last year's winning schools who will provide key tips and support to those who have yet to submit their applications. The one-hour chat is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. PST) on Tuesday, Feb. 11 on the Follett Challenge Facebook page.

Two examples of educators who made the grade with their 2013 Follett Challenge entries were Patrice Bryan, who teaches social justice Semester of Service at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in St. Louis, Mo., and Danielle Salina, library/media specialist at Mary E. Griswold Elementary School in Kensington, Conn. Bryan and Salina will headline the Feb. 11 Facebook chat.

Bryan's school – ranked among the St. Louis area's lowest performing schools 10 years ago – was one of the contest's two $60,000 grand-prize winners (see video recap of Maplewood Richmond Heights' honor at this link). Salina's school earned the Follett Challenge's "People's Choice Award" for receiving the most votes from the public in an online vote of favorite application videos submitted on the contest's website. More than 450,000 online votes were generated last year.

"Our esteemed panel of judges will have the tough task of singling out this year's winners given the extraordinary 21st century teaching and learning programs that are going on throughout our nation," said Tom Schenck, president and COO for Follett School Solutions. "Our past winners have told us that being honored has motivated them to want to accomplish even more."

The overall 2014 winner will earn a $60,000 prize, while each of the other three semifinalists will earn $30,000 prizes. Ten $5,000 prizes will be awarded to the "People's Choice" winners. Judges will select the grand-prize winner from among the four semifinalists.

"I'd tell everyone who's doing something innovative to apply for the Follett Challenge – you just might win the grand prize," said Bryan, who is one of six on this year's judging panel. "Winning has made us at Maplewood Richmond Heights realize we are going the right direction, and it has been inspiring."

To participate, entrants must complete an online application and upload a three- to five-minute video describing their program at

Key contest dates are:

  • Feb. 28: Entries close.
  • March 7: Video voting begins.
  • April 4: Video voting ends.
  • April 14: Four semifinalists and 10 video winners announced.
  • May 16: Grand prize winner announced.
  • For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit

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    About Follett’s K-12 Business |   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 |

    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 River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.