Local educator and longtime CUE member, Ms. Sissie Lola-Woodward, and her first grade class at Niles Elementary School have been announced as the grand prize winners in the 2020-2021 National Book Challenge hosted by Studentreasures Publishing. Lola-Woodward’s class beat out over 60,290 other entries to take this honor, winning themselves a $5,000 grant for their school. Each of the first-grade authors were recognized for their contributions to their book, “Women Leaders Who Have Contributed To Our Global Society,” which was published earlier this year through Studentreasures’ free publishing program.

Lola-Woodward’s class came up with the idea for “Women Leaders Who Have Contributed To Our Global Society,” when they were inspired by brave and famous women all over the world that helped to shape it into what it is today. The first grade authors put forth their best effort, researching, writing about, and illustrating their women’s history book, before they sent their completed pages to be published.

“The nationwide award highlights the drive and passion Ms. Lola-Woodward bestows upon her students on a daily basis. Her drive and passion is also shared by her students as they have received accolades, such as 1st Place in the Young Author’s Award. The over 25 years of teaching at Niles Elementary has led to the development of after school programs, like Robotics, Dash & Dots Rodeos – a buddy program. Ms. Lola-Woodward is a life-long learner as she has attended over 100 professional development opportunities, is a member of CUE, ISTE, iNacol, and traveled to Sydney, Australia to be trained in GAFE and Google applications. Seeing her passion first-hand during the development of a growth mindset certificated evaluation program was astonishing. Fremont Unified shares in the excitement and is fortunate to benefit from a wonderful educator,” said Raúl M. Zamora, Ed.D., Fremont Unified Assistant Superintendent.

Lola-Woodward’s class book was selected from National Book Challenge entries across the country and awarded first place based on its originality, creative storyline, and colorful illustrations. This nationwide contest was open to more than 60,290 books that were submitted to Studentreasures for free publishing this school year. “At Studentreasures, we are fortunate to witness tremendous creativity and talent from classrooms around the country and all students who publish their own books. We especially congratulate Ms. Lola and her students for earning this unique achievement and completing a project that provides lasting memories and a one-of-a-kind keepsake,” said Chad Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Studentreasures. “Educators share that creating their own books through our fun and easy publishing program motivates students to write, inspires learning, and instills pride. Additionally, these students now have the honor of creating an extraordinary book that earned first place as part of the one-and-only National Book Challenge.”

Congratulations to Ms. Lola-Woodward and her first grade class at Niles Elementary School!

About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.