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Voting begins Monday for Husmann Elementary video in national education contest

Husmann Elementary School in Crystal Lake has entered a $200,000 national education contest, hoping to land one of the 19 prizes awarded to recognize “the most unique and inventive K-12 program,” according to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47.

Husmann submitted an online application for the annual Follett Challenge, and submitted a short video to promote its program for the chance to win 10 prizes, valued at $5,000 each. These are given away from the People’s Choice category, and winners will be based on how many votes applicants receive from the public on their videos.

Video voting begins Monday. Husmann’s video is on the Follett Challenge website at https://follettchallenge.com/videopreviews/1368. After registering, users can cast one vote per day through Jan. 24, when voting ends.

Not only are the public’s votes significant in the video-voting portion of the contest, the district said in a news release, but they also will play a role in the overall rubric as 20% of each school’s final score is based on the number of votes generated for its video.

“The Follett Challenge is an opportunity to recognize our educators for the great job they are doing with the limited resources they have and to reward them with resources to do more,” Husmann Principal Monica Petersen said in the statement. “It also gives educators who go above and beyond to share their innovation with other schools across the country and throughout the world.”

Petersen said Tina Serra, the school’s library media center director, and Kerri Tilton, STEM teacher, created “positive change” for the school when they started a student environmental club called “EnviroTech,” which is composed of 52 students in grades 3 through 5. In this club, students and families learn about ways they can protect the environment, and the group organized an “environmental night” for Husmann families earlier this year that included 12 community partners. Future projects for the club include a waste audit, collecting plastic for a recycling project, creating solar ovens and preparing a native garden.

With a total prize value of $200,000 in products and services from Follett – a company that makes educational products – the overall winner will receive a $30,000 prize. The other eight semi-finalists will take home $15,000 prizes. The 10 People’s Choice awards are worth $5,000 each in products and services. This year’s Follett Challenge will honor nine semi-finalist winners, three winners in each of the following categories: Elementary, middle and high school.

The winners of the 2020 Follett Challenge, including the grand-prize winner, will be announced March 23.

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