Editor's Note: Our good partners at Eastern Illinois University are going all out to strengthen rural schools and communities in their region. A new rural teacher corps, a Grow Your Own grant project, a new Rural Schools Initiatives center, and a community-based partnership are working together to accomplish the following:
- Increase the rural teacher recruitment pipeline;
- Build a regional working group; and
- Bolster philanthropy that supports teacher education and public schools.
We want to thank Dr. Doug Bower, Dean of the College of Education, and Dr. Brian Reid, who directs the Rural Schools Initiative, for their support and cooperation. Special thanks to Mary Bower, who keeps the trains running. RSC has appreciated the opportunity to work with the University and its constituents.
Please explore the good work that is going on in Wabash River country. Thanks to the editors of "Homegrown Bites" for allowing us to share this information.
The 3rd Annual EIU Rural School Forum will be held on June 13 in Buzzard Hall. This year’s forum will focus on building a pipeline starting in local schools that leads to a steady supply of teachers for our rural communities. Please register by June 12.
Click here to see more information and register.
As a part of our Grow Your Own Grant we have done a staffing survey to help us plan. We need to know what your district needs in terms of teaching positions to help with planning. This will help in two ways. First, we will be able to plan recruitment efforts to focus on needs in this area, and program development and delivery based on your needs. Secondly, the information will be organized to share with preservice candidates which districts are looking or specific positions.
Please go to this linkhttps://eiu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_893AjIPyoi7y76l
Rural Teacher Corp Celebration
The EIU Rural Teacher Corps held the first Celebration for the Rural Teacher Corps leaders. Although the group started only this January, there were three successful events. This was due to the planning and hard work of the EIU candidates and their school partners.
-The first event was the VR/Google Expeditions professional learning experience provided by Teutopolis at EIU on February 12 (planned by Bill Fritcher, Supt.and presented by Doug Runde, Michele Mette and Amy Wakefield; Teutopolis Unit #50 Schools)
- The second event was a site visit to Shelbyville schools on March 29 planned by Holly Pitts and Russ Tomblin (Principal Moulton Middle School). This included conversations with teachers and a tour of of the schools and community. This event received excellent area media coverage and was picked up the national Associate Press.
- The final event was the Martinsville Bunny Bash on April 16 planned by Devanne Lawson and Dakota Crowder with Victoria Norton (principal; Martinsville Elementary).
We presented our first annual Leadership Awards to the three RTC candidates who organized and implemented the projects .
GYO Advisory Council Meeting
On April 30th, the Grow Your Own Advisory Council met and discussed the barriers involved with becoming a teacher. The group considered how these barriers could be overcome to lessen the region's teacher shortage.
June 6th @ 6pm: Grow Your Own Program Orientation
June 13th @ 8:30am: Rural School Forum (Buzzard Hall Atrium, pictured below)
November 23, 2021
Highlights from a fall visit to our Driftless Regional Hub partners at UW-Platteville
November 22, 2021
RSC team visits Iowa partners and an innovative rural school