The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) and Galesburg Community Foundation are proud to announce the establishment of an RSC Western Illinois Hub. Rural School Collaborative “Hubs” comprise and help define a flexible and cost-effective infrastructure for the organization. The relationship between the Hubs and RSC are mutually beneficial.
Galesburg Community Foundation serves as the host organization for the hub, and executive director Joshua D. Gibb is the primary hub contact person. Gibb also is a member of the RSC board of directors and is the vice chair for 2017-18.
The new Western Illinois Hub will operate out of Knox and Warren counties and look for partnership opportunities throughout the western region of the state. This work is extremely relevant as western Illinois is an area that has been impacted by Rust Belt manufacturing loss, farm consolidation, and higher youth poverty rates.
The Galesburg Community Foundation board of directors has endorsed this new partnership and has allocated resources to support its work. Key elements of regional work will include:
- launching an initiative to strengthen the assets of rural school foundations in Knox and Warren counties;
- exploring partnerships that could assist with the launch of rural teacher corps efforts at Western Illinois University and Monmouth College;
- and resourcing a regional grant program that will empower teachers to engage students in their respective communities.
RSC staff will work with Galesburg Community Foundation staff and volunteers on the ground to advance these efforts. Gibb said, "We understand how important public education is to the future of our region, and the Galesburg Community Foundation is pleased to take a leadership role in bolstering the relationships between area schools and their communities.
Gary Funk, RSC director, echoed Gibb's sentiments. "The Galesburg Community Foundation is a founding partner of the Rural Schools Collaborative, and their willingness to host and facilitate the development of the Western Illinois Hub means so much to our work. Josh and his colleagues are some of the nicest people around, and they and their board are keenly focused on improving the quality of life for people in their region."
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