Eureka Springs High School Wins Samsung $50,000 Prize


3/9/2010 8:39:35 AM

Community support in online voting puts Eureka Springs over the top.

Finally, after all those mouse clicks, forwarded emails, Facebook and Twitter messages, the long wait is over. With amazing support from the community, family, friends, Eureka Springs High School won First Prize in the Samsung Four Seasons of Hope Essay Writing Contest that was held from December 1, 2009 to February 1, 2010.

"We want to thank everyone who went online and voted every day for our School. It was heartwarming to get such wonderful help and encouragement," said EAST Program Facilitator Mila Lynne Floro who wrote the Samsung 100-word essay. The High School will receive $50,000.00 awarded in the form of $24,000.00 in Samsung merchandise: Twelve (12) 24" LCD Monitors, Ten (10) 16" Screen Notebook PCs, Two (2) Color Laser Printers, Five (5) HD Digital Camcorders, Seven (7) Digital Cameras, Two (2) Blu-ray players, and Two (2) 37" LCD HDTVs; $24,000.00 in Microsoft software; and a $2,000.00 grant from DirecTV and the DirecTV Goes To School package.

The Eureka Springs High School was the only Arkansas school to reach the finals of the Essay Contest. There were 21 schools from across the country competing for prizes of classroom technology equipment, hardware and software. The winner of the Grand Prize of $210,000 will be announced on March 31. There are fifteen winners for the $50,000 First Prize, and five winners for the $10,000 Second Prize.

Floro wrote the Samsung essay with the EAST Program in mind, specifically for two EAST community projects: the Carroll County Technology Center (offers free computer classes to all Carroll County residents) and the Carroll County Inventors Club (develops invention, math and science skills among our County youth), and for special events where students learn about the world. The School's final score was based on Ms. Floro's essay (70%) and online voting (30%). Eureka Springs' supporters went online and voted every day of the Contest. It was an incredible display of determination and persistence.

The Contest essay topic focused on social networking and on 1) How consumer electronics, computer equipment, and software can enhance the education process; 2) The advantage to students and schools that have these technology resources, and, 3) The unique and innovative teaching methods that are enabled by computer and consumer electronics technologies. "I didn't even have Facebook and Twitter accounts when I started work on the essay," explained Floro. "The fact that my essay reached the Contest finals shows that one shouldn't give up because of lack of experience or knowledge. Now the entire School District will benefit from the prizes."

Samsung's goal is to improve the quality of life for children and families across the nation who face major challenges. Samsung is dedicated to meeting the needs of these children and their families through on-going partnerships with elite athletes, print publications and channel partners. Since its inception in 2002, Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope and the Hope For Education programs have raised and provided more than $20 million to schools and the charities we support across the country. Over the past five years, Hope for Education has provided millions of dollars in Samsung technology and Microsoft software to more than 270 K-12 schools across the United States in an effort to reduce the technology gap within our education system.

For more information about the EAST Program and how you can support the Eureka Springs High School EAST Program, please contact Mila Floro at 479-253-2936.



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