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Belk, Discovery Education And ISTE Help Middle School Students Impact Local Communities

-- Prizes include student scholarships, teacher awards and Belk prize packs --

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Belk, Discovery Education and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have partnered to encourage and assist students in making an impact in their local communities. The partners today announced the launch of the all-new Belk Service Learning Challenge encouraging middle school students to help improve their communities by undertaking a service-learning project of their choice.

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Mobilizing students to give back and support their local communities, the Belk Service Learning Challenge is currently open to all middle school students in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C., Columbia, S.C., and Jackson, Miss., but will continue to expand to additional local communities. Working in teams of two to four with the support and guidance of a teacher/mentor, students are asked to identify a community issue and create an action plan to solve the problem. 

Entries for the Challenge are due by March 14, 2013. The grand prize winning team will receive a $1,000 scholarship per student team member and a $250 teacher award. The second place team will receive a $500 scholarship per student team member and a $100 teacher award. The winning teams will also receive Belk prize packs for each student team member and teacher and will be celebrated in Belk in-store events in the spring of 2013.

"Being involved in our communities has been a core value at Belk since our founding almost 125 years ago, and creating this program with Discovery Education and ISTE provides us an opportunity to teach students in our markets about the importance of service and giving back," said Jessica Graham, Belk's vice president of communications and community relations. "We are excited to see the projects that the students create to strengthen their local communities."

Providing student teams a second layer of support, a dynamic online destination at BelkServiceLearningChallenge.com anchors the Challenge and equips middle school classrooms with free, standards-based service-learning curriculum, including lesson plans and multimedia tools.

"Education is much more than what is taught within the walls of a classroom. Some of the best learning opportunities for students are those that encourage them to connect school lessons to aspects of their everyday lives," said Mary Rollins, Discovery Education vice president. "We are excited to partner with Belk and ISTE to provide students and their teachers with an opportunity to explore their curiosity in the world around them and make a true, positive impact on their communities."

"The Challenge will not only help students integrate project-based learning with technology and service, but it will also benefit communities throughout the nation," said Brian Lewis, CEO of ISTE. "We look forward to seeing the inspiring results of this collaboration."'

For more information on the Belk Service Learning Challenge or to view the free classroom resources, please visit BelkServiceLearningChallenge.com.

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone text messages or by email, go to: Belk Get Connected.

Modern. Southern. Style.
Belk seeks to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve.  Our vision is for the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first – for her, for her family, for life.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by providing high quality, dynamic, digital content for grades K-12 and community colleges. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital media, professional development, assessment tools and a passionate educator network to support districts in accelerating student achievement. Discovery Education services like Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Techbook and Discovery Education Higher Ed, are in more than half of all US schools and 35 countries around the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About ISTE 
ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and learning through the innovative and effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home to ISTE's annual conference and exposition and the widely-adopted NETS, ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide.

SOURCE Discovery Education

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