Elwood (IL) School Librarian Recognized for Grants in Place Award

Making Space for Place

December 9, 2015 |

Left to right: Thomas McLaughlin, principal; Charity Collins, librarian; and Dr. Andrea Evans, Dean, College of Education, Governors State University and Rural Schools Collaborative board member.

Elwood (IL) School Librarian Recognized for Grants in Place Award

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) recognized the Elwood Community Consolidated School District #203 librarian for receiving a grant through RSC’s inaugural Grants in Place program. Funds for the grant award were provided in part by the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools and individual donors.

Elwood School students and their librarian, Charity Collins, were awarded a $1,000 grant to convert an outside atrium into an outdoor community classroom. In addition to area clean up, renovation, plantings, and seating, the grant also provided for a weather information station, which is accessible in the school’s interior.

Ms. Collins, an alum of Governors State University, thanked all of the students and volunteers who helped make the project possible. School principal, Thomas McLaughlin, was also appreciative of the project, as, in his words, the outside atrium “had become sort of an eyesore.”

Dr. Andrea Evans, Dean of the Governors State University (IL) College of Education and Rural Schools Collaborative board member, made the grant award presentation at the school to Ms. Collins and Mr. McLaughlin. It was only appropriate that Charity had learned about the grant opportunity through Dr. Evan’s outreach efforts with area administrators.

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.

Charity Collins stands by her school's new weather data station, just inside from their renovated outdoor classroom.

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