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Sheyenne 9th Grade Center takes creative measures to improve education

While schools across the country grapple with changes in funding, implementing new curriculum standards, and how to use technology in classrooms, Sheyenne 9th Grade Center decided to take a creative approach to tell its success story. The school made a case for why it has the most innovative education program in the world and is now hoping it will be enough for a shot at thousands of dollars worth of products and services from a leading education company.

Sheyenne 9th Grade Center applied to the Follett Challenge, a program run by Follett to recognize and reward schools for their work applying technology, content and creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and promote critical thinking. Six winning schools will be awarded with the cash-equivalent of a total of $200,000 worth of products and services. West Fargo is the only school featured from North Dakota.

As part of the competition, Sheyenne created a short video about their program. The video is now posted on the Follett Challenge website for the public to vote for their favorite school. Thirty percent of the school’s total entry is determined by the number of votes its video receives.

“We are hoping the North Dakota Minnesota area will vote for us; we really are proud of the students in this area and their emphasis on learning, as well as the teachers who implement innovative strategies,” said Lori Liebl, Library Media Specialist at the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center. People are able to vote once per day per email address.

Follett created the Follett Challenge to reward innovation in schools. “There’s a lot of change happening in education and many challenges with the economy,” said Tom Schenck, the President of Follett School & Library Group. “We want to reward educators with innovative ideas, who rise to the occasion through all the chaos using technology and new teaching techniques.”

The public will vote until March 15 for the school with the best video overview about their library program. West Fargo’s submission is available on the Follett Challenge website by searching for West Fargo or at the following links or

Sheyenne’s video highlights how West Fargo uses a trans-disciplinary approach to learning; students learn something in one curriculum and apply that to others. Each Core area is responsible for emphasizing different areas of research and technology, so each student learns effectively.

After registering, users can cast one vote per day per email address.

The Follett Challenge winners will be notified by April 5, 2013. To cast your vote or learn more about the Follett Challenge, visit