Alpena, Arkansas Teachers Recognized for Grants in Place Awards

Alpena, Arkansas curricular innovations include employability workshop and historic murals

November 2, 2015 |

Left to right: Steve Watkins, Alpena High School Principal; Vickey Shelton, FBLA teacher, Joy Quigley, art teacher, and Lavina Grandon, Rural Community Alliance president and Rural Schools Collaborative board member.



CONTACT: Gary Funk, director, 417-848-9083;

November 2, 2015

Alpena School District Teachers Receive Grants from the Rural Schools Collaborative and Rural Community Alliance

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) and the Rural Community Alliance (RCA) recognized two Alpena High School teachers for receiving grants through RSC’s inaugural Grants in Place program. Funds for the grant awards were provided in part by the Arkansas-based Rural Community Alliance and individual donors.

Alpena art students and their teacher, Joy Quigley, received $300 to create two murals to commemorate the history of the town and schools. The primary objective is to create artwork that will become a legacy for underclassmen. The billboards will be installed on a concrete wall using wheat paste, a technique from the 1950’s.

Alpena FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) high school students and their teacher, Vickey Shelton, received a $350 grant to host employability skills workshops for the community, focusing on resume building and interviewing skills.

Rural Community Alliance board president and RSC board member, Lavina Grandon, joined RSC director, Gary Funk, in making the presentations to the two teachers at Alpena High School on October 28th.

The Rural Community Alliance is a statewide advocate for rural public education and facilitates grassroots-led community revitalization projects in low-wealth communities. RCA has nearly 2,000 members in 64 communities.

The Rural Schools Collaborative was organized in 2014 and launched in April 2015. RSC believes that community-based instruction, thoughtful collaboration, and targeted philanthropy strengthen the fabric of rural places. Its Grants in Place program is funding 35 innovative projects in seven states.

The organization is currently engaged in eight states with an administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.

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