Our Driftless Region Hub focuses on sharing the stories and models of schools demonstrating excellence in the areas of sustainable agriculture education, place-based local food, rural teacher preparation, farm-to-school programs, and sustainability initiatives in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Driftless Hub anchor is the University of Wisconsin - Platteville's School of Education. Dr. Jennifer Collins is RSC's Hub Contact.
Other partners in this region include:
FIELD Edventures- Connecting with educators to explore natural and cultural systems and engage learners and leaders for thriving individuals and communities. Since 2008, FIELD Edventures has supported more than 50 schools and hundreds of educators to implement the F.I.E.L.D. Corps (Fostering Inquiry and Engaging Learners Through Discovery) model rooted in place-based environmental education.
F.I.E.L.D. Corps educators design and facilitate learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, that engage students in meaningful, real-world investigations.
Cambridge, WI's Farm to School Program- Established the Cambridge Farm to School Fund, an independent fund created to cultivate the mission of the organization to "promote healthy nutrition, foster connection to real food through education and practice, and to have community ownership of the value produced." Cambridge is also home to Koshkonong Trails School, a member of the Place Network Schools partnership with Teton Science Schools.
In addition, our Wisconsin work is supported in part by the Compeer Fund for Rural America.
Read more about exemplary efforts in Wisconsin and Minnesota:
- Compeer and RSC support Rural Teacher Corps (June 2021)
- University of Wisconsin-Platteville receives Catalyst Initiative planning grant (April 2021)
- Adam Gould of Koshkonong Trails School named a Godsil Fellow (Jan. 2021)
- Cambridge, WI is a Cultivating Community Honoree (February 2021)
- Give Rural Schools the Tools They Need! By Jill Underly (February 2020)
A Democracy of Education: Offering Students a New Path through School in Cambridge, Wisconsin
For this month’s Cultivating Community feature, Laura Emrick, founding teacher for the Koshkonong Trails School (KT) in Cambridge, Wisconsin, shares this brief glimpse of how policy change and community action has impacted students at this project-based and place-based school:
“There was a parent that said this school was life-changing for their child. I was like, ‘wow, it changed their life?’ Then the very next parent said that this school was life-saving for their child.”
In telling about their school, Emrick and her colleague Adam Gould, director of the Severson Learning Center which hosts KT, talk through not just how the Cambridge community came together to support students, but why they chose to undertake such a venture.
Policy change is no easy feat, even at the local level, and maintaining a diverse group of interests long enough to bring a program to fruition requires a good deal of effort. Misunderstandings, limited resources, and the loss of energy to continue are among the many barriers that cut grassroots action short before it has the chance to grow and flourish.