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Farmers can help schools get grants

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Across the US, school districts are working to incorporate common core state standards an hands-on learning opportunities into their math and science curriculum.  These new opportunities are designed to provide real world experiences that help grow the next generation by preparing them for success in college and in their careers.

Now in its third year, the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is gearing up to help rural school districts by investing more than $2.3 million to strengthen math and science education in rural communities. 

Between now and April 6, farmers can nominate their local public school district to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. Administrators from nominated school districts can then submit grant applications for either amount through April 21. 

“We believe that growing the next generation begins with a strong foundation in math and science,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer.  “This opportunity for success begins in the classroom.”

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers to support rural communities. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education launched in 2012 after a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois. The program has since helped more than 400 school districts improve math and science education across 39 states. 

School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). CRDs with five or fewer eligible school districts will compete against each other for a single $10,000 grant. School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant will compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region. Winners will be announced in August 2014.

Grants will be judged based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications. 

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.

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