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Fairview wins award in Big Lots video contest

Big Lots recently awarded Fairview Elementary School with a check for $2,382.23 for taking third-place in a recent Big Lots 2013 Lots2Give video contest. (Special Photo)

Big Lots recently awarded Fairview Elementary School with a check for $2,382.23 for taking third-place in a recent Big Lots 2013 Lots2Give video contest. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON — Fairview Elementary School will use a recent prize for students with special needs.

Recently, Fairview Elementary School took third-place honors in the Big Lots 2013 Lots2Give video contest. As a result, the school earned a cash prize of $2,382.23. According to Big Lots officials, 185 schools from around the country competed in the sixth annual Lots2Give video contest and 37 were announced as winners, including one $20,000 grand prize, two $10,000 first place prizes, four $5,000 second place prizes, and 30 third place prizes of $2,000 each. From April to June, Big Lots customers also were invited to make a $1 or $5 donation at participating stores with 100 percent of the money collected given to participating schools.

Fairview Elementary was the only school in Georgia to win a prize. Clements Middle and Newton High schools also were finalists.

Schools were asked to submit a short video and brief essay explaining why their school was in need of financial support. From June 10 through July 7, Americans voted for their favorite video online. More than 405,000 votes were cast during the contest.

“We think the Lots2Give program is a fun and meaningful way for Big Lots to support education in the communities where we live and work,” said David Campisi, chief executive officer and president of Big Lots. “The videos were creative and heartwarming, and our customers have responded in a big way through voting and donating in stores.”

According to Matt Osborn, media specialist at Fairview, the money will be used to fund a sensory room at the school.

“This will be a special area in our school where students who struggle with sensory development can go for brain strengthening therapy,” he said. “All people have sensory issues sometimes. However, some are more sensitive than others. A sensory room will help students filter out distractions and adjust to their environment, so that they can get back to the business of learning. The money will be used to purchase specialized lighting and multi-sensory equipment to make a space that is both calming and therapeutic.”

Dr. Naomi Cobb, principal of Fairview Elementary School, said the school had a team of teachers, guided by the media specialist, who put together the video to enter into the competition.

“Our faculty and other supporters rallied together to get the word out for everyone to vote for us, and it paid off,” she said. “Our students will greatly benefit from the sensory room we plan to put together with the money we receive from the grant. We appreciate Big Lots and their support of public education.”