October 1, 2015
Five Colome School District teachers were recognized at a school event on Monday, September 28th for their successful participation in the Rural School Collaborative’s Grants in Place program. The $5,000 grant award was funded in part by the South Dakota Innovation Lab and Leadership South Dakota.
The five teachers involved in the grant project will use the money for purposeful professional development. The training, provided by the South Dakota Innovation Lab, will culminate in the implementation of the rural blended learning approach with student-based community projects. The honored teachers were Janette Shippy, high school science; Julie Rhode, distance learning coordinator; Patty DeMers, FACS and personal finance; Renee Bolie, junior high science and high school math; and Abby Smikle, high school English and geography.
Congratulatory remarks were made by Gary Funk, Rural Schools Collaborative director, Mary Biehl, South Dakota Innovation Lab STEM Coordinator, and Jim Beddow, Rural Schools Collaborative board member. After the presentation, visitors took a tour of a new housing effort that involves Colome students, the school district, and the local community development corporation. Nice and affordable homes are being built as both an instructional activity and an economic development effort to attract new families to this small community of just 296 people.
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 nine states with an administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.