Art and Service Come Together in the Missouri Ozarks

High School Students Improve Elementary Learning Environment

December 14, 2015 |

(Left to right) Clint Hall, principal, Ava Elementary School; Carol Silvey, senior associate for advancement for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Rural Schools Collaborative board member; Mindy Pinckney, 1st grade teacher, Ava Elementary School; and David Norman, president, Ava School Foundation, stand in front of the elementary school library's new motivational mural.

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) recognized Ava, Missouri first grade teacher, Mindy Pinckney, for receiving a grant through RSC’s inaugural Grants in Place program. Funds for the grant award were provided in part by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and individual donors. Ms. Pinckney wrote the proposal and served as grant coordinator.

Ava High School art students and Ms. Pinckney were awarded a $200 grant to paint a mural in the Ava Elementary School library. Not only did this project engage local students in a public art project, but it provided the high schoolers with an opportunity to support the learning of younger students through the motivational mural in the library.

Carol Silvey, Senior Associate for Advancement with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and RSC board member, made the grant award presentation in the elementary school library to Ms. Pinckney. She was accompanied by Clint Hall, elementary school principal, and David Norman, president of the Ava Public Schools Foundation. The Ava School Foundation works closely with the Douglas County Community Foundation and is a member of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Rural Schools Partnership.

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 11 states with an administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.

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