Local Philanthropy Supports Place-Based Education in North Dakota

A generous gift creates a dedicated endowment fund.

June 19, 2018 |

"Lisbon Public School third-graders will become community journalists!"

The Rural Schools Collaborative believes community-based philanthropy presents real economic development possibilities for small towns and rural regions. Cooperative efforts between community foundations, school foundations, and planned giving initiatives have outstanding asset development potential. This story from Lisbon, North Dakota is an excellent example of how generous donors can create a fund that empowers local students and strengthens the community fabric.

Thank you to the Lisbon Public Schools for allowing us to share their story.

Lisbon Public Schools’ new Place-Based Education Grant was awarded to an Elementary News project submitted by Richard Schmit's third grade class.

All third graders will work together in various news roles to create weekly video updates, or newscasts, for their peers. The goal of the project is for the newscasts to increase all students’ awareness of what is happening in their elementary community. This awareness can help students develop a clearer understanding of how they belong to their community, and may motivate them to be effective citizens.

Third graders will develop a deeper understanding of the writing process, listening and speaking skills, collaborating in a team, using technology, and understanding media.

The $1,000 grant will fund broadcast tools that are necessary to create quality newscasts that can make the students proud of their work.

The grant will continue to be awarded in future years through a gift to the Lisbon Public Schools Endowment Fund from Dr. Steven and Linda Johnson. This grant was started for teachers who develop a classroom project for their students which utilizes place-based principles addressing a community issue and engages students in making the Lisbon community a better place.

We are so pleased to be working with good folks in North Dakota. Our new North Dakota Hub is in partnership with North Dakota Small Organized Schools, ElRoy Burkle is executive director of NDSOS and is our primary Hub contact.

Dr. Steven Johnson, superintendent of Lisbon Public Schools, is a Rural Schools Collaborative advocate. Steven's work on behalf of his community and rural education exemplifies servant leadership.

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