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School in hunt for grant money
Media center effort seeks online votes
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Forsyth County News

On the Net

To vote for Piney Grove Elementary School or watch the video, visit or and search for Piney Grove. Voting ends March 15.

A media center expansion is just a few thousand clicks away for Piney Grove Middle School.

The school is in third place in the Follett Challenge grant competition that could earn as much as $60,000 worth of e-books and services for the center.

Every vote brings the school closer to the prize, awarded to the top two competitors.

“We need more votes,” said Kristen Deuschle, school media specialist. “We’re hoping to use the prizes so we can … update our media center and make it more 21st century.”

The competition rewards schools that are working to prepare students for life after high school, specifically through programs that develop communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration.

For Piney Grove, that program is the Grizzly Great Day of Giving, dubbed G3.

For the past two years, the schoolwide initiative has taken students out of the classroom for one day to work on community service projects.

Among the dozens of projects, students have collected food for those in need, tutored at elementary schools, packed cookies for military personnel, sorted clothes, cared for animals and visited senior citizens.

Students documented their efforts and created a short video highlighting some of the volunteer efforts and lessons learned during G3. The school’s video is one of 113 submitted for the competition.

Deuschle said 70 percent of the competition’s score comes from judges, but the remaining 30 percent is based on public voting for each video submitted to Follett, an educational technology company. Voting ends March 15.

“You can go on the Web site and search by top votes. You can see how many votes each video has,” Deuschle said. “I’ve watched our top competitors … ours looks pretty darn good. Ours is our whole school program where a lot of the others are just a small group.”

First- and second-place winners each receive $60,000 worth of Follett products and services. Third place will get $35,000, fourth $25,000 and fifth $15,000. Win or lose, the third annual G3 will take place in May.

“The Grizzly Great Day of Caring is so impressive, I just thought it needed to be recognized in another way,” Deuschle said.