Walnut Elementary Education Center went nuts Thursday in celebration of the school’s nationwide first place finish in the Scotties’ Trees Rock video contest.
Students were treated to a DJ, tree plantings, a proclamation from Turlock Mayor John Lazar and an assembly featuring 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 1997 Turlock High School Graduate Ali Cox, along with entertainment duo The Morris Brothers. And of course, the presentation of the $10,000 grand prize check.
Thanks to the commitment and creativity of several third grade classes in Walnut’s Performing Arts magnet program, along with the overwhelming support of parents, teachers and friends throughout the entire school, Walnut gathered more than 24,000 votes nationwide.
Scotties Spokesperson Janet Prensky praised Walnut’s creative marketing campaign and video submission.
“We received hundreds of submissions and Walnut’s was extremely impressive – but its no surprise when you come visit this campus and see what kind of a school this is. Half the battle was making the video, the other half was getting the votes,” she said. “Walnut had such as sophisticated marketing campaign, which illustrates the power of social media.”
Walnut had numerous celebrities tweet for their followers to votes . The school also reached out to local media, including TurlockCityNews.com, to help spread the word.
Walnut third grade teacher Irene Hales was appreciative of Scotties and their selection of Walnut.
“This day has been so magical for the kids,” she said. “This shows them that creativity and hard work pays off. This has been the perfect day and they will never forget this.”
Students from Hales’ class, along with Sherri McMillian and Lisa Chittim’s classes, participated in the video.
Cox delivered a message of inspiration to the students. She advised them to follow four steps: set a goal, dream the dream; work hard, sacrifice; be a good teammate; and, be ready to perform.
“The kids who made this video had to do all four of those steps for success,” Cox said.
As for the $10,000 in prize money? Principal Mark Holmes said the money will be reinvested into school technology programs.
Walnut plans on planting 10 more trees in addition to three trees it planted for the celebration today. Scotties plants three trees for every one it uses for its paper products and has planted over 900 million trees.