Students in the Fulton City School District proved their marketing prowess as they took home top honors during the second Oswego County Academic Youth League competition of the year on Wednesday.
The event, which took place at Holy Trinity School in Fulton, pitted students from Hannibal, Oswego, Fulton, Central Square, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown and Mexico against one another as they tested their marketing skills and financial savvy to create an ideal school.
The Ivory Tower competition was broken down into four separate challenges, as students were tasked with designing a brochure, creating a mission statement, developing graduation requirements/course descriptions and making an infomercial about their ideal school.
According to Central Square’s OCAY League coach Liz Sorbello, the competition provided a unique opportunity for students to develop a curriculum rather than having to follow one designated by the school district.
“We are asking kids what their ideal school looks like,” she said. “We’ll be able to see their creativity and personal thoughts on what they are looking for in an academic provider.”
Creativity was evident as eye-catching brochures and captivating infomercials were presented to a panel of judges.
Students used magazine clippings, tape, markers, crayons, glue and scissors to make their brochures, all while keeping rubrics and New York state credit standards in mind.
“Would you send your children to a school that had a brochure this nice?” Mexico student Kyle Hall asked school administrator Bill Coughlin as he held up his team’s creation.
Their brochure and others boasted that their schools had small class sizes, an abundance of elective courses, a variety of extracurricular activities and other offerings that provide a rich learning environment.
“We emphasize our extracurricular events as much as our core subjects,” APW student William Hall said as part of his team’s sales pitch. “The future of our students is in their hands.”
For the Fulton team, which edged out second-place finisher Mexico and bronze medalists from Oswego, the infomercial sealed the victory.
It highlighted course offerings such as career for a year and financial management, with the marketing pitch focusing on student excellence, courage and equality.
“Congratulations on another great job (and) another great competition,” said OCAY League coordinator Dante Ascenzi.
The OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics.
Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership and creativity.
A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem solving.
OCAY League is coordinated through Oswego County BOCES’ Instructional Support Services as part of the Gifted and Talented Programs cooperative services.