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Rural Community Alliance to Serve as Arkansas Hub for Rural Schools Collaborative

April 02, 2017

Information Release

Friday, March 31, 2017

Rural Schools Collaborative

Contact: Gary Funk, director

gfunk@ruralschoolscollaborative.org

417-848-9083

www.ruralschoolscollaborative.org

Rural Community Alliance to Serve as Arkansas Hub for Rural Schools Collaborative

The Rural Community Alliance (RCA) and the Rural Schools Collaborative are pleased to announce the establishment of an operational hub for the State of Arkansas. RCA empowers rural communities to effect change by creating opportunities in education, economic development, and youth empowerment to improve quality of life and place. RCA has 64 community-based chapters and more than 2,500 individual members.

On Thursday, April 6th at 11:00 a.m., officials from both organizations will meet in Marshall, Arkansas to formally announce this new "hub" partnership. The event will take place in the Ray Moore Gymnasium at Marshall High School.

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) hub will serve Arkansas communities in the following ways:

  • The hub will be a vehicle for organizing and sharing the “transformational” work being done in Arkansas by RSC and RCA.
  • RSC will “connect” the Arkansas hub to other regional hubs through a small and lean national operations office with a strong emphasis on social marketing.
  • By and large, the work of RSC will occur within the context of the Arkansas hub and other regional partners.
  • Through the hub, RSC and RCA will work together to create, fund, and share innovative work and activity.

Lavina Grandon, president of the Rural Community Alliance, said, “We at Rural Community Alliance are so pleased to have this national platform to share the great education and community and economic development work done by our members throughout rural Arkansas, and we look forward to learning from others in the collaborative as we work together toward a thriving rural landscape across the country.”

Rural Schools Collaborative director, Gary Funk, echoed Grandon’s sentiments: “We are so pleased to take our partnership with the Rural Community Alliance to another level. RCA has a well-earned reputation in innovative rural leadership, and this new hub will provide real credibility to our new national effort.”

In addition to the Arkansas hub, the Rural Schools Collaborative will launching hubs in Alabama, northern California, southern Wisconsin, western Illinois and the Missouri Ozarks.

The mission of the Rural Schools Collaborative is to strengthen the bonds between rural schools and communities through place-based engagement, rural philanthropy, and
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