École Willow Point Elementary School’s Battle of the Books has gone digital this year. Teacher Librarian Lila Armstrong has championed an entry into the Follett Challenge, where there’s up to US$200,000 worth of Follett products and services up for grabs. Image by Lila Armstrong

Willow Point Elementary needs your vote

Library initiative vying for prize money in Follett Challenge

A Campbell River initiative is vying for a piece of a US$200,000 pie.

École Willow Point Elementary School has entered the Follett Challenge, a contest for schools in Australia, the U.S. and Canada to showcase innovative teaching programs that prepare students for the “demands of the 21st century,” the contest page said.

The Grade 3 to 5 school’s entry highlights a new take on a well-loved program, the Battle of the Books.

Previously at the school during Battle of the Books, students would read a set list of books depending on their grade and them team up for a Jeopardy!-style quiz to test their knowledge of the titles. The best school team would then compete at zones where the winner would then move up to the championship round.

This year, that part of the contest remains the same, however when the Battle of the Books committee met, they opted for a new format leading up to the Battle that would test students’ reading comprehension.

“There were concerns that students weren’t digging into the books as much,” said École Willow Point Elementary Teacher Librarian Lila Armstrong. “So we decided on a format where students would have to complete certain activities to show that they’re thinking about what they’re reading.”

RELATED: Campbell River readers enjoy thriller, mystery books in 2019

With School District 72’s use of Microsoft Office 365 products, Armstrong thought, why don’t we do this as a powerpoint?

“It seemed like a way to wrap it up all together. You’re starting with a love of reading and you’re adding in media arts and digital citizenship and digital literacy sort of all together,” she said.

Media arts are things like green screen use, movies and audio recordings, while digital literacy asks, “how do we use technology well?” and digital citizenship is about understanding that our actions resonate around the web so “how do we make good choices about what technology we’re using?”

“My sort of thinking behind this was, if we teach them to use these office tools, how to collaborate together, how to show they’re learning in different ways and have fun doing it,” said Armstrong. “We’re giving them a pretty good foundation for once they start to be exposed to more things.”

So this fall when Battle of the Books started gearing up, Armstrong filmed the process. She combined video of students working on their projects with their testimonials on how much they enjoy the program. Then she edited the material together into a four-minute-and-53-second video for the Follett Challenge.

Voting began earlier this week and ends on Friday, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. local time.

There are 63 entries vying for votes in the contest. Just four are Canadian.

The 10 videos that receive the most votes will receive $5,000 worth of Follett products and services. Nine semifinalists, decided by a combination of votes received and a score from the judges’ rubric, will receive $15,000 worth of Follett products and services. Of those semifinalists, one grand-prize winner will receive an additional $15,000 of Follett products and services.

RELATED: Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

The funds would go a long way in helping a transformation that’s underway at École Willow Point Elementary’s library.

Staff opted to remove desktop computers from an adjoining computer lab room. With laptops now available in the school, the room was no longer needed as a dedicated computer space. The change essentially doubles the library’s footprint, said Armstrong. The idea is to create a Library Learning Commons space including a flexible learning area and a maker-space with comfy seating and things like Magformers, LEGO, K’Nex and other STEM toys.

“Things students can practice building with and designing with,” said Armstrong.

Willow Point’s Battle of the Books competition is coming up on Feb. 24, with zones set for March 2 and the district final scheduled for March 10.

In the meantime, Willow Point could use your vote.

“I don’t like asking people to vote for my stuff,” said Armstrong, “but I feel like this is a really good cause and this would be great for the school.”

You can vote for Willow Point’s entry here.

RELATED: ‘Let’s Read Together!’ during Campbell River Family Literacy Week 2020


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019. Campbell River Mirror file photo
Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony to go ahead in reduced form

Public asked not to attend; event will be streamed on social media, Shaw TV

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Black Creek environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Two suspects seen outside of Gord Knight Auto on Oct. 27 at around 4:15 a.m. Campbell River RCMP are looking for information on these suspects’ identities. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP look for suspects in break-in cases

Two suspects caught on surveilance video

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Police investigation results in multiple property crime charges

A Campbell River RCMP investigation has lead to multiple property crime charges… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read