EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – What could be a better present for your favorite teacher but a nice, juicy apple? Appreciation and a big, fat check, that’s what, says Aimee Gautreau of Barnes & Noble in Eastchester.
The retail bookseller’s “My Favorite Teacher” contest allows middle- and high-school students to nominate teachers by writing essays, poems or thank-you letters that detail what they mean to them and the community.
“There’s no better way to honor someone than to tell them how they influenced your life and how much you appreciate them,” Gautreau said Thursday.
Entries are judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s inspiring qualities, the sincerity of the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing.
They are reviewed on the local level by a panel of judges at individual Barnes & Noble stores. The winning student, and his or her nominee, are honored at a ceremony and given gift cards and a certificate, she said.
The entry is then judged on the regional level -- in this case, District 10. Winners at this level get a $500 gift card and a NOOK tablet.
Winners are then sent on to the nationals, where the top prize is awarded by folks in the company’s home office.
“The payoff is amazing when they get to the last level,” Gautreau said.
The top winner’s school and teacher split a $10,000 top prize and the student gets a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card and a NOOK reading tablet.
Barnes & Noble said it has been showing its appreciation for the work teachers do through special discounts, personalized service, in-store events, book fairs and store tours for students.
The “My Favorite Teacher Contest” submission period started on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and ends on Wednesday, March 1.
(Entries must be 500 words of less, in English, and on 8.5 inch by 11 inch white paper.)
Gautreau said a downloadable application can be found on www.bn.com . Scroll down to the bottom of the first screen to the B&N Services section, then click on B&N Educators. Click on the “My Favorite Teacher” section, then hit the entry form and official contest rules button to get the application.
Essays can be dropped off at the customer service desk at participating Barnes & Noble stores. (White Plains and Yonkers are also participating.)
They can also be mailed to the store, marked Attn: CBDM. (CBDM means Community Business Development Manager.)
Gautreau said they also could be attached as a file to an email. For Eastchester, the address would be email@example.com; for Yonkers, firstname.lastname@example.org and for White Plains, email@example.com.
The Eastchester Barnes & Noble is located at: Vernon Hills Shopping Ceenter, 680 White Plains Road, Scarsdale. It can be reached at (914) 472-0689.
The Yonkers Barnes & Noble is located at: Central Plaza Shopping Center, 2614 Central Park Ave. It can be reached at (914) 771-6400.
The White Plains Barnes & Nobl e is located at: City Center, 230 Main St. It can be reached at (914) 397-2420.