Votes Win FCPS the Dream Big Teacher Challenge!

Votes Win FCPS the Dream Big Teacher Challenge!

Farmers Insurance agent Christina Di Bari presents the winning check to Valley Elementary Literacy Specialist Jill Barnes

Frederick County Public Schools’ Literacy Specialist Jill Barnes might feel like the heroine stepping from the pages of a book her students will read. She learned today that Valley Elementary won the nationwide vote to bring $100,000 home to Frederick County from the recent Farmers Insurance Thank America’s Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge!

Barnes, who wrote one of the five winning proposals, will get to realize her vision for a mobile literacy clinic that will travel to teach students throughout local communities during summer and extended breaks. The school will also put a significant portion of the Thank America’s Teachers grant toward literacy instruction materials, including high quality, high interest texts for classroom instruction. Principal Tracy Poquette is thrilled and says that the win will prove immensely beneficial to students in Frederick County.  

People throughout Frederick County and the whole of Maryland rallied to help Valley Elementary garner Marylanders’ votes to win the grant. Throughout October, the school system used its FindOutFirst email service, social media, TV channel, website and other connections to urge the public to vote online for the local grant proposal. Ultimately, it’s the community’s support for this exciting program that will soon make a positive difference for students as they work to master literacy goals.

“I couldn’t be happier or more proud and thankful for all the enthusiasm and dedication that made this a reality,” says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. “Our students are the real winners, supported by excellent employees, caring families and an engaged community.”