Grants In Place

Innovation and Impact

Community-focused learning with a public purpose

Since 2015 the Rural Schools Collaborative and its Grants in Place partners have awarded $488,000 in place-based education grants to innovative rural teachers.

The Rural Schools Collaborative's Grants in Place program consists of two primary components: RSC's Celia B. Godsil Grants in Place Fellows program, which was reorganized in 2019, and the National Signature Project Award in collaboration with the National Rural Education Association. The Fellows program is limited to teachers who teach in public schools that are located in the geographic regions of RSC Regional Action Hubs, and the National Signature Project Award is open to any rural public school teacher in the United States of America.

The Celia B. Godsil Grants in Place Fellows work with their students on place-based projects. Each Fellow receives a grant which will support the place-based project, a professional development presentation, and an honorarium for the educator.

The Grants in Place program is funded through the generous support from Celia and Mark Godsil in honor of Celia's career as a public school teacher and their belief in the importance of classroom teachers to rural communities. Please check out the 2020-21 Celebration of Learning that features the work of previous Godsil Fellows.

Learn more here.

In Partnership with NREA

Meet Our 2022 National Signature Project Award Winner

Lara Belice

The National Rural Education Association and Rural Schools Collaborative are proud to announce Lara Belice, a lead teacher at Cooke City School, Cooke City, Montana, as the 2022 National Signature Project Award recipient for her place-based project, "U.S. History Through a Bison Lens."

This year, for the first time and due to the vast amount of incredible place-based education project proposals received, Rural Schools Collaborative and the National Rural Education Association have chosen to award two additional rural teachers with $1,500 toward their individual place-based education projects as National Signature Project Award runner-ups: Abby Jones and her project, "Flavors & Foliage - An International Greenhouse at Our School” as well as Christina Robinson and her project, "R.U.R.A.L. from Farm to Fork."

Belice is the fifth National Signature Project winner, following last year's winner, Haley Salitros Lancaster of Lincoln High in Vincennes, Indiana with her project on "Building and Sharing Community Knowledge." Connie Michael of Crow Agency Elementary on the Crow Reservation in Montana was the 2020 recipient; Devon Barker-Hicks of Meadows Valley, Idaho was the 2019 recipient, and Andrea Wood, from Moorcroft, Wyoming received the award in 2018. Belice will receive an award of $2,500 which will be applied to her outstanding place-based project!

Learn More About Their Projects

2021-22 Grants in Place Fellows


Talia Miller


The project will be entirely student-driven, and will not only impact the students, but the town and community as a whole.


Abigail Parker


The Pollinator Garden will provide learning that directly correlates to the kindergarten learning standards that go along with her science curriculum.


Andy Felt


Students will use materials produced by, which is an archaeological organization, to begin researching homesteads in the area.


Camille Dudrey & Dylan Bear


Students will be doing a meta-analysis on fuel reduction.


Amy Kaufman


The Arena will include three interconnected, educational sections: a greenhouse, a chicken coop, and a technology building.


Stacie Stecker

North Dakota

Ms. Stecker and her student's project, Community Park Restoration, is focused on utilizing leadership skills within the community to build strong community partnerships, while restoring the parks in town.


Pamela Joslyn


Students will partner with the City of Muscatine Organic Recycling Center to reduce the amount of organic waste transferred to the landfill.


Brandon Renfroe


By participating in this project, students will learn firsthand not only the measurable characteristics of clean water but also their immeasurable place as lifelong stewards of the environment.


Lisa Wilt


Students will take lead on designing a landscape project that makes their building more attractive.


Will Miller


Students will conduct the research and cultivate the plantings for the trellis, and the Food and Gardens council will harvest and distribute the fruits and veggies.


Heather Wright

North Carolina

In total, students will purchase 125 books for the surrounding elementary schools, in hopes to promote collaboration between the high school, elementary school and community.

Since 2015 the Rural Schools Collaborative and its partners have awarded more than $480,000 to rural classroom teachers in support of innovative place-based projects. We invite you to check out our roster of Grants in Place projects: