Announcing the "I Am a Rural Teacher" Campaign

A project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

October 23, 2019 |

We are pleased to announce the launch of the I Am a Rural Teacher Campaign, a national conversation that will give voice to rural teachers, share their powerful and diverse stories, and advocate for the rural teaching profession. This effort will also complement our ongoing efforts to strengthen the recruitment of rural teacher-leaders.

Dr. Allen Pratt, executive director of the National Rural Education Association, will announce the new campaign during his Welcome Address to the National Forum to Advance Rural Education in Louisville, Kentucky on October 24th.

I Am a Rural Teacher is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Rural Schools Collaborative, National Rural Education Association, Alabama's Black Belt Teacher Corps, and Missouri's Ozarks Teacher Corps. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This exciting new venture will consist of two primary parts:

  1. Rural Schools Collaborative communications staff will visit ten diverse rural regions across the country to produce films, stories, and photographic essays on rural teachers. This work will include teacher perspectives and personal narratives.
  2. NREA will work with the Rural Schools Collaborative on the advocacy side, connecting these stories to NREA state affiliates and distributing high quality material that can be shared with state and local policymakers. In addition, state affiliates can send in stories that will be included in the overall social marketing effort.

The campaign will be ramping up this fall and continue through December 2020. We will have a celebration of the project at the NREA's national conference one year from now.

We invite you to check out the new campaign website: and follow @IamaRuralTeach1 on Twitter. You can also join the I Am a Rural Teacher Facebook group, which currently has nearly 500 members.

Thanks again to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for providing a national platform for authentic rural teacher voices. Stay tuned for more information in the days ahead!

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