Civic Engagement


Edgecombe County, NC: Bringing Educators and Leaders Together to Discuss Community Impact

In Edgecombe County, North Carolina, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Equity, had its first town hall-style meeting in February. The Commission is comprised of educators, local board of education members, faith-based leaders, parents, students, and policymakers.


Coalition for Teaching Quality Represents 100+ Local, State and National Groups

The Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ) represents a broad cross-section of over 100 local, state, and national organizations representing civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups. The Rural School and Community Trust has been a member since the coalition’s founding in 2010.


Regional Education Laboratory Appalachia Co-hosts July 25 Event on Postsecondary Readiness in Rural Communities

Regional Education Laboratories (REL) invite practitioners and leaders from rural schools and districts, as well as rural education researchers are invited the attend the Cross-REL full-day event in Nashville, Tennessee.


Investing in Innovation (i3) Rural Grantee Webinar set for June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) Program recently announced a June 22 webinar with two i3 grantees working to improve achievement in rural high schools.


Community Schools 2016 National Forum Scheduled for April 6 - 8 in Albuquerque

Rural educators and stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Community Schools 2016 National Forum.


Read for Success Report Addresses Summer Learning Loss in Poor and Rural Communities

In May 2015, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) released the report entitled, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide. The study was designed by RIF to determine how schools and communities in the poorest and/or most rural areas could address summer learning loss, and ultimately the achievement gap, through access to opportunity, books, and learning resources.


Administration Releases Report, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

On May 20, 2015, the White House released the report, entitled, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty. The report examines poverty in rural areas, compares urban and rural poverty rates, discusses how safety net programs reduce rural poverty, and highlights the Administration's efforts and proposals to reduce poverty and promote opportunity in rural communities.


Listen to IEL's Community Schools and Equity Recorded Webinar Series

Beginning in January 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has hosted a series of community schools and equity webinars. The webinars explore how to utilize the full-service community school approach, both in policy and in practice. In addition, these webinars also discuss methods of closing the equity and opportunity gaps for all children.


Rural Schools Collaborative Grant Applications Due May 15, 2015

The Rural Schools Collaborative announced its Grants in Place program for rural classroom teachers. Grants in Place will provide up to twenty grants for innovative place-based education projects. Funding will be awarded for projects that will commence in Fall 2015. 


U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant Applications Due May 20, 2015

On March 16, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture released the Fiscal Year 2016 Farm to School Grant Applications. The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Offers Strategies for Starting or Expanding a Farm to School Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School webinar series will offer helpful guidance on how schools can start or expand their farm to school program in 2015. This 11-part webinar series will help participants develop new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom and will include topics like building a team, menu planning and program sustainability.


Register Now for IEL's March 17 Webinar: My Brother's Keeper and Community Schools

This upcoming webinar will focus on strategies to effectively reach young men of color in community schools through the lens of President Obama's initiative known as My Brother's Keeper. Webinar presenters will also discuss how to leverage community partnerships to address racial and educational disparities.


National Education Association Celebrates Read Across America on March 2, 2015

The Rural School and Community Trust joins the National Education Association (NEA) in commemorating Read Across America on Monday, March 2, 2015.


Rural Trust Joins Coalition in Push for Equal Access to Well-Prepared and Effective Educators For Each and Every Child

On October 7, 2014, the Rural School and Community Trust joined the Coalition for Teaching Quality on Capitol Hill in urging Congress to push for a comprehensive road map for ensuring there are well-prepared and effective educators for each student, regardless of need, color or disability.


U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


USDA's Farm to School Grant Program Enables Schools to Bring Healthy, Locally-grown Food to the School Cafeteria

Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program, schools are able to incorporate fresh, local food into their school meals and teach students about healthy eating through hands-on experience in their own school gardens as well as nutrition education in the classroom.


Register Now for December 10 NCEEP Webinar: Issues, Challenges and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas

Throughout the United States, GEAR UP programs in rural communities face unique challenges trying to facilitate college readiness and access for low-income, first-generation students, ranging from transportation issues, teacher quality and turnover, and inadequate K-12 resources and rigor to lack of post-secondary education and economic development opportunities.

Rural School and Community Trust to Participate in Rural Education National Forum, Oct. 27-28

The Rural Education National Forum, hosted by Battelle for Kids, offers participants an opportunity to share successful models of transformation and highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices underway in rural districts across the country. Rural Trust Communications Director, Mr. Robert Mahaffey will participate in panel discussions at the Columbus, Ohio event.


Thank a Million Teachers Grant Applications Due October 31, 2014

In an effort to make a positive impact on the lives of educators and their students, the University of Farmers Education Foundation is giving away $1 million in grants to America's teachers. Parents, students and fellow-educators can help by saying "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in his or her life and the community


Report Reveals that Rural Children More Likely to Rely on Medicaid and State-Funded Insurance Programs than their Urban Counterparts

On September 10, 2014, First Focus, a children's advocacy organization, released a report which shows that children in rural communities are more likely than their urban counterparts to get health care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid.


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Garners National Attention at Capitol Hill Briefing

On July 9, 2014, Rural Trust staff and researchers presented the key research findings of Why Rural Matters 2013-14 at a policy briefing on Capitol Hill. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Glen Thompson (R-PA) sponsored this Hill event, which was attended by a diverse group of educators, policy enthusiasts and rural supporters.


September 9 - Deadline to Apply for the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), in partnership with its fourteen state-based program sites, is recruiting for the 2014-2015 cohort of the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), a program which prepares high-potential individuals for positions of leadership in education and related fields.


USDA Extends Community Eligibility Deadline to August 31, 2014

The USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows participating high poverty schools to offer healthy free lunches and breakfasts to all students, without requiring their families to complete individual applications.


Partnerships, NOT Pushouts: New "Whole-Child" Policy Guide for School Board Members

On April 22, 2014, a new "Whole-Child" policy guide was released which details how school board members can lead the way in securing a high-quality education for each and every student in their district.


USDA Announces Request for Applications for FY 2015 Farm to School Grants

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School grants help eligible schools improve the health and well-being of their students and connect schools with local farmers, ranchers and food businesses. This grant program provides new economic opportunities to food producers and bring healthy, local offerings into school cafeterias.


Hope to See You in the Future

A collaborative community effort to engage and support young people leads to a new business in a small North Carolina community.


Impact Aid School Districts Bear Brunt of Federal Budget Cuts

When the across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as the Sequester, took effect on March 1, 2013, school districts receiving federal Impact Aid experienced an immediate reduction of funds for the 2012-2013 school year, because funding for the Impact Aid Program is used the same school year it is appropriated.


Rural Trust Participates in Pathways to Partnership Bus Tour Across California

Between October 14 and 16, the Rural Trust participated in Pathways to Partnership: Community Schools Strategies in Action, a three-day, statewide bus tour which explored how the community schools strategy is being implemented in California.


Just Released: 2013 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

The Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools is an annual poll that allows educators and policy makers to track public opinion about this nation’s public schools.


Foundation for Rural Services Grant Proposals Due Oct. 1, 2013

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), in cooperation with the NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, seeks to sustain and enhance the quality of life throughout rural America by advancing an understanding of rural telecommunications issues.


Schools That Change Communities to be Re-Broadcast on Sept. 25, 26 and Oct. 2, 2013

The documentary film, Schools That Change Communities will be re-broadcast on PBS World stations throughout New England, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, the South, the Midwest and the Southwest. The airing schedule is as follows: 9/25 at 6 pm and 9 pm; 9/26, at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm, 10/2 at 2 am, 10 am, and 4 pm. Viewers should check local listings as times may vary slightly by region of the country.


Register for Racial Healing Network Regional Calls

The Within Our Lifetime Network invites you to connect with others in your region who are committed to ending the impact of racism in our lifetime. The Within Our Lifetime Network,  which works to promotes racial healing and racial equity, invites you to join one of six scheduled calls in early September.


Upcoming ARCC Webinar: Building Rural Capacity to Implement New Education Reforms

On Friday, August 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm, EST, the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) will hold a webinar which focuses on building rural capacity to implement new education reforms.


Rural Trust Special Report on School Violence

Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013This report updates the March special edition of RPM and includes information on violent incidents, updated graphics, and policy recommendations.


Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013: A Rural Trust Special Report

The March RPM special edition on school violence has been released as a downloadable Rural Trust special report and includes updated text and additional graphics. The report found surprising patterns in incidents of school violence, including important information for violence prevention. The report emphasizes rural perspectives throughout.


Student Leadership on Historic Clock Is Community Catalyst

Student engagement around a historic local clock is becoming a key part of a local community renaissance in Glouster, Ohio.


2013 Global Teacher Fellows Selected

Thirty-three rural and small town teachers from around the country will travel the world this summer.


National Assembly on School-Based Health Care convention set for June 23-26

The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) will bring together hundreds of providers, administrators, educators, and advocates for their upcoming convention to be held June 23 -26, 2013 in Washington DC.


Schools That Change Communities

This interesting one-hour documentary is now airing and will continue to air on many PBS stations around the country. Between January 30 and February 2, 2013, the program will broadcast on a large number of PBS stations that carry PBS World. Viewers should check local listings for the exact dates and times in their viewing area.


The Health and Future of Our Community

Students lead economic development prospects in their communities.


Thomasville Rendezvous Celebrates Place-Based Learning

Over 100 participants spent time sharing their successes with place-based learning at this annual meeting, which also included workshops, the Coover Place-Based Education grant awards and the announcement of the 2012 Ozarks Teacher Corps.


"Moving to Higher Ground" Event Highlights Successes for Rural Schools and Students

The 2012 Vermont Rural Partnership’s annual place-based learning event for members of its network spotlighted youth-led and intergenerational projects that have transformed schools and communities.


Rural Louisiana Students Continue to Help Build Community Wealth

Student-run tax centers and other youth-led programs have returned over $320,000 to East Iberville residents this year and are building important school-community connections.


RCA and Allies Explore New Ways to Build Support for Their Work

Arkansas’ Rural Community Alliance convenes training on foundation-building in Alpena.
Date: March 30, 2012
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Community Organizing, Consolidation


Every Child in Every Neighborhood

“Every Child in Every Neighborhood” is a video from the Oakland Unified School District that outlines their efforts to transform that school system into a full-service community school district.


Rural Students Channel Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to Their Communities

Students in North Carolina and Louisiana are making a big economic impact on their communities and learning a lot about money in the process.
Date: June 26, 2011
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, High School, Income Related Issues, Youth


Rural Trust Will Present Teen Financial Literacy Workshop at 2011 Youth Leadership Conference

Veniayetta Aikens, Youth Coordinator in the Capacity Building Program of the Rural School and Community Trust, will be hosting the workshop Teens for Financial Literacy at the 22nd Annual National Service-Learning Conference, April 6-9, 2011, in Atlanta, Georgia.


2010 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2010 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


Arkansas Community Revitalization Efforts Share Great Approaches

Five rural Arkansas communities are partnering with the Rural Community Alliance on community revitalization initiatives to strengthen their communities, grow their economies, and support educational opportunity. What they are doing and learning has much to offer other rural communities dealing with declining enrollment and the erosion of jobs and economic opportunity…


Rural Education Advocacy Group Speaks Out on Charters

A group of Alabama citizens that advocates for policies that bring equitable opportunity for rural students and the small and rural schools they attend has taken a stand as the state considers adopting a charter school law… 
Date: February 25, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Civic Engagement, Education Policy and Activism, Race to the Top


2009 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2009 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


Voices from the Fisheries Handbook

Voices from the Fisheries HandbookVoices From the Fisheries Handbook is an oral history handbook written for teachers as well as marine-oriented and other community organizations. The handbook includes information of how to develop projects and conduct oral history interviews.


Healthy Rural Schools, Healthy Rural Communities: 2009 REWG Brings Rural Education Activists Together

See photos, download session materials, and get the scoop on the 2009 national Rural Education Working Group meeting, held in April in North Carolina.


2008 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Read about the 2008 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund for Teachers grant recipients, and browse the curriculum they developed with their funds.


Rural South Carolinians Help District Rethink Consolidation

Communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools…


RSIN Webinar: What Makes a Good Rural High School, Mar. 18, 2009

What Makes a Good Rural High School was the title of the March 2009 Rural School and Community Trust webinar.


Rural Education Working Group 2009: "Healthy Rural Schools, Healthy Rural Communities"

You are invited to share and learn at the eighth annual Rural Education Working Group meeting of rural activists from across the United States gathered at Kanuga Conference Center in the beautiful North Carolina mountains near Hendersonville, NC, April 19-21, 2009.


Home Grown Teachers

An extensive locally developed and locally funded grow-your-own-teacher program is underway in North Carolina's Bertie County, the state's poorest school system in terms of local funding.


Infusing Heritage and Connectedness in Academic Support in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a committed community group is making a difference for young people and the whole community...


Louisiana Youth Founder of Free Community Tax Center

At just 15 years of age and while still attending high school, Jolanda Burton opened and began operating the first free tax center in her community of St. Helena, Louisiana.


Youth-Led Poverty Reduction Project

In 2006, students in St. Helena, Louisiana worked to ensure that low-income members of their community received their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)—a provision in the federal tax code targeting people of incomes below $35,000 to offset the burden of social security taxes.


Connecting School and Community in Northeastern North Carolina

The Rural School and Community Trust is working in North Carolina to build the capacity of grassroots leaders and community-based organizations to engage in local school reform in vulnerable rural communities, build strong out-of-school supports for student learning, and establish a network of rural activists who will develop and advocate for policies and practices to improve education for students throughout the state.


Learning with Public Purpose

Learning with Public Purpose (LPP) is the Rural Trust’s answer to simultaneously improving rural schools and communities. When student learning contributes to the larger public purposes of the community, young people develop the habits of citizenship and service while also deepening their understanding of knowledge in core subjects. The community reaps the benefits of what young people can accomplish when they are engaged, challenged, and valued as citizens of their place.


A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005

A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005The 2004-2005 report on the progress of the first year of the Rural Civic Engagement Initiative. Includes review of activities in Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin.


The Role of Education: Promoting the Economic and Social Vitality of Rural America

The Role of EducationThis special report issued in partnership with the USDA Economic Research Service and the Rural Trust explores the connections between rural education and local community well-being. The report includes three sections: Education, Human Capital, and the Local Economy; Links between Rural Schools and Communities; and Creating Successful Rural Schools and Students. Each section includes several articles and provides descriptive information, research data, and examples of promising programs.


Standing Up for Community and School

This reports tells the stories of seven individuals living in rural communities and their personal struggles with public policies around schooling. The booklet also includes a "What I Can Do" section with contact information for legislative hotlines and Departments of Education across the country.