Rural Schools Collaborative and Dakota Resources are proud to collaborate on the Growing Better Together grant program, which is a part of RSC’s national Grants in Place initiative. The two organizations awarded Kaci Vander Vorst, Computer Studies teacher at Eureka School District, a $1,000 grant award for a student-led multimedia project promoting the Eureka School District and community.
Ms. Vander Vorst’s students collaborated with Eureka Community Development to use multimedia, audio, and visual broadcasting to develop messaging that highlights the assets of both the community, local businesses and the school district itself. They used their grant money to purchase a green screen, which is a part of their newly-created makers space. The goal for Vander Vorst and her students is to foster deeper communications and collaboration between the school and community. You can view some of the students' projects on the school district website.
The grant award was presented by South Dakotans Jim Beddow and Mike Knutson. Beddow, of Sioux Falls, serves as board chair for Rural Schools Collaborative, and is the former president of Dakota Wesleyan University. Knutson works with Dakota Resources as a community coach.
“Vander Vorst and her students are doing a great job with this project,” said Beddow after his visit to Eureka. “It is always exciting for us to learn about how the students are engaging with the community.”
The Rural Schools Collaborative is a national organization that was launched in 2015. RSC believes that rural schools and communities get better together, and its work centers around place-based engagement, rural philanthropy and the development of teacher leaders.
Dakota Resources is a South Dakota nonprofit that stimulates financial and human investments in communities that are invested in themselves.
The 2017 Grants in Place program included more than twenty funders and individual donors who came together to invest $135,000 in rural place-based student-centered projects. Funding was provided for 35 projects serving 45 communities in 11 different states.