Students’ video wins $5,000 for Ike library

Eisenhower Middle Senior High School has been named a “People’s Choice” winner in the Follett Challenge and has been awarded $5,000 to support the schools library.

EMHS senior Shelby Willis, junior Daymara Haskins, and sophomore Allie Schutt created “The Hub,” a five-minute video showcasing why EMHS should win the third Follett Challenge, a national contest that awards a total of $200,000 in products and services to 15 winning schools.

“The Hub” was a hit online and placed within the top five “People’s Choice” awards with 10,111 votes.

“I am incredibly proud of the girls and their willingness to take this challenge,” EMHS Librarian Jeanette Walter said. “After I received an email announcing the contest, I told Allie and Shelby about it. They recruited Daymara and the rest was all them. They took the project and ran with it.”

Walter provided the space, tools and guidance along with some encouragement.

“This has been a great period of time in my life. The winnings benefit not only us but those that use our library in the future,” Willis said.

The video includes footage inside the school library and interviews with students and staff that ends with a remix the students did of the Lorde song, “Royals”, was made using one of the journalism cameras and was edited by Willis on her computer.

“It is really cool to know we had as much support as we did throughout the whole challenge, which led us to winning,” Schutt said. “I think it will help the library a lot and will promote better education for the future students. I also hope it will inspire other students from such a small school can achieve great things.”

Students and staff were asked to describe the library in one word in the video and described the library as the hub of the school – “relaxing,” “tranquil,” “productivity,” “welcoming,” and “informative” were just a few of the responses.

“Being able to win such a big achievement for our little school has been a great inspiration and shows the world that the sky is the limit. I hope to do it again next year,” Haskins said.

The school is still waiting for guidelines from Follett on what the funds can be used for, but Walter said the students are going to form a committee to help decide how spend the money. She anticipates ebooks, books, and hopefully tech items the students needs for the library will be purchased.

Votes for the video came in from almost every state including Hawaii and Alaska and as far away as Italy, Abu Dhabi and Japan, Walter said. The video was one of 103 entrants and was viewed nearly 2,300 times on the Follet Challenge website.

“I’d also like to acknowledge all of those students and teachers in classrooms throughout the district who sent us encouraging messages. The support was overwhelming and very much appreciated,” she said.

“The innovation and creativity taking place in our schools today never ceases to amaze us,” said Tom Schenck, president and COO, Follett School Solutions. “The videos are proof that exemplary 21st century teaching and learning is taking place in classrooms throughout the country, and we hope people will take the time to view them. They are truly inspiring, and Follett is proud to shine a light on what passionate educators and motivated students can accomplish.”