It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
For KSMU and Making A Difference Where you live, I’m Mike Smith. Today, just 6 months after the Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced its Rural Schools Partnership, a multi-level effort to strengthen southern Missouri schools, around 90 districts have signed on. www.cfozarks.org
Gary Funk, Community Foundation of the Ozarks CEO, says “There are some great opportunities for rural communities on the horizon and I think that comes from some interesting changes we’re seeing in agriculture, in energy, and that technology levels the playing field a bit. The CFO believes strongly in rural communities, but we also believe that one of the things that must happen in rural America to support entrepreneurship and to get people to consider moving back or staying in rural America is that public education must be perceived more strongly. That we have we have to work hard to make our rural schools better. And we have a lot of rural schools, but they face a lot of challenges. We have to work extra hard to keep our rural schools strong and to make them even better and more attractive to people in the future, and so we think one of the assets in rural America is that kids can get out of the classroom, get into the woods, get into the town square, be involved with local businesses, be involved with local farmers, and we want to see if we help support that and drive that with some targeted grant dollars”. The Hartville R-II school district has applied for and received funding from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and according to Superintendent Sharon Hayden, will have established a CFO affiliate foundation for Hartville Schools by July 2010. “We applaud their efforts. They are extremely pro-active, they are visionary. They are giving lots and lots of support to public schools and we are very lucky to be in their company”. Once a CFO Hartville Schools foundation is established, a state funded initiative already in place could be of interest to grant writers looking for supplement dollars: Hartville approach to Missouri’s A+ program. Administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, declared students who graduate from a designated A+ high school and who meet certain GPA, citizenship and attendance records, are eligible for 2 years paid tuition to any public community or technical college and some 4 year institutions. Another requirement is for the student to perform a minimum of 50 hours of district supervised unpaid tutoring or mentoring. At Hartville, high school students are meeting the mentoring requirements in the elementary and pre-school classrooms. Jennifer Sanders is Principal of Hartville High School, and serves as the A+ Coordinator for the district. She says of the one semester course: “It can provide the students with a sense of direction. It can provide them with a sense of responsibility knowing the younger kids look up to them and count on them”. Arthur Mallory agrees. The former Missouri State University President and Commissioner of Education says “Young people who are given a responsibility, they become more mature than they would’ve been had they not been responsible. That person grows up”. Mallory has personal knowledge of enlisting the help of older students to help younger students in the classroom. Arthur Mallory’s father and mother were educators and his father’s first teaching job was at 16 years of age in front of 72 students in a one room school house on the Webster Wright county line. He needed the help. At 4:30 this afternoon (and online) we’ll hear more from Arthur Mallory and from a couple of Hartville High students who are helping teach younger kids in the classroom.I’m Mike Smith.