2024 Grants in Place Celebration of Learning

The Celebration of Learning features 17 rural teachers who were awarded grants to do a Place-Based Education project that connected their classrooms and communities.

June 20, 2024 |
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On June 7th, 2024, Rural Schools Collaborative celebrated and heard from 17 rural teachers who were awarded grants to do a Place-Based Education project that connected their classrooms and communities. These grants were provided with support from the Patterson Family Foundation.

On Friday, June 7th Rural Schools Collaborative hosted the annual virtual Celebration of Learning, a capstone event following a year of Place-Based Education Projects initiated by teachers from RSC’s Regional Hubs. These projects were supported by $2,500 grants provided to each Grants in Place Fellow, made possible with generous support from the Patterson Family Foundation.

This year, 17 Grants in Place Fellows from RSC’s Regional Hubs were selected to participate in the program throughout the 2023-2024 school year. After being awarded the grants, they began both working on implementing their projects, and met quarterly to share progress updates, exchange ideas, and build community. In each project, which included nearly all grade levels and class subjects, the teachers went above and beyond to connect their students with their local community, instilling pride in place and creating lasting impact across the country.

Leslie Cook, Head of Professional Learning at Teton Science Schools and RSC's Northern Rockies Regional Hub Lead.

With the school year wrapping up, the teachers convened to share both with each other and many within the RSC community the journey that their projects had led them on. In successive short presentations, they shared pictures and videos, unexpected benefits and challenges, and ultimately pride and satisfaction in the ways in which their projects uplifted learning and their students. Facilitated by Leslie Cook, the lead of RSC’s Northern Rockies Regional Hub and Head of Professional Learning at Teton Science Schools, the presentations highlighted the power of place and how designing context-specific lessons can engage students and peak their interest on a higher level.

Examples of projects included multiple garden-based initiatives, connecting history and language arts lessons to local culture, bringing the community together for mental health awareness, a healthy living and eating workshop, and so much more. To watch the full recording, and learn about each inspiring project, view the 2024 Celebration of Learning below.

Thank you to all of the Fellows for their participation and for sharing about their place-based projects - congratulations on the impacts and connections you all fostered!

You can learn more about each of the 2023 - 2024 Grants in Place Fellows here and learn more about past projects and Grants in Place recipients here.

We'd also like to extend a warm thank you to our 2023-2024 Grants in Place Selection Committee:

Ann Schulte (Northern California); Lori Goodson (Kansas); Tammy La Prad (Committee Chair, Monmouth College); Leslie Cook (Wyoming); Jeremy Eltz (Indiana)

Our 2023-24 Grants in Place Fellows Selection Committee is comprised of outstanding rural advocates and representatives from RSC's Regional Hubs across the US. Our thanks is extended to Ann Schulte (Northern California); Lori Goodson (Kansas); Tammy La Prad (Monmouth College); Leslie Cook (Wyoming) and Jeremy Eltz (Indiana) for their commitment to Place-Based Education and rural schools & communities.

Since 2015 Rural Schools Collaborative and its partners have awarded more than $700,000 to rural classroom teachers in support of innovative place-based projects. We invite you to check out our roster of Grants in Place projects:

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