Working Hard. Working Together.

Eastern Illinois University is employing a full court press to strengthen rural schools and communities in their region!

May 16, 2019 |

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.

3rd Annual Rural School Forum: Building a Teacher Pipeline for Rural Communities

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.

Staffing Survey

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 link

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.

Upcoming Events

June 6th @ 6pm: Grow Your Own Program Orientation

June 13th @ 8:30am: Rural School Forum (Buzzard Hall Atrium, pictured below)

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Group of Ozarks Teacher Corps participants.

Ozarks Teacher Corps: Rural Place-based Learning in Missouri

April 15, 2024

We joined Teton Science Schools, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, and several RSC Grants in Place veteran teachers at a collaborative, rural teacher corps training in the Missouri Ozarks Hub. The future is bright for these aspiring rural educators!

Regional Hubs, Power of Partnerships, Missouri Ozarks, Place-Based Education, Rural Teacher Corps

Group of students from Monmouth College in winter gear standing in a semi-circle with snow covered trees behind them.

TARTANS Take to Training in the Tetons

April 8, 2024

A unique trip brought together two RSC hub partners for intentional learning, memorable experiences, and crucial relationship building in the beautiful snow-covered Teton Mountains.

Regional Hubs, Power of Partnerships, Illinois, Northern Rockies, Place-Based Education, Rural Teacher Corps, Gratitude

Sophia Elswick, Music Teacher at Stark County High School.

Sophia Elswick - Toulon, IL

March 28, 2024

A music teacher at Stark County High School in rural Illinois, shares her story about finding community and herself while teaching in rural communities.

Power of Partnerships, Rural Teacher Corps, Teacher Profile, Rural Resilience