Farmers nominate Clinton-Massie for education grant
By ANDREA CHAFFIN
CLINTON COUNTY — Clinton-Massie Local School District is one of eight Ohio school districts which received a rural education grant thanks to the recommendations of local farmers.
Clinton-Massie was selected for a $10,000 grant because of its use of technology in the schools, said Superintendent Michael Sander.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a merit– based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications.
After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application and finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. Another Clinton County district, East Clinton Local School District, was also nominated, but was not a finalist.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected the winners.
“Clinton-Massie is honored to receive this award. Our teachers work hard to provide the highest possible education to our students. We also are extremely fortunate to live in a community where our residents go above and beyond the call of duty to support our schools,” Sander said. “We appreciate the recommendation of our community for this award and feel that it is because of their recommendation that we moved to the head of the applicants and were awarded this grant.”
There were 176 school districts in 35 states that received grants of up to $25,000, totaling $2.3 million from The Monsanto Fund. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate public school districts in 165 eligible counties in those two states.
The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 communities. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund to help farmers positively impact their communities and support local rural school districts.
“School districts were innovative and creative in their applications,” said Deborah Patterson, the Monsanto Fund president. “We are really looking forward to seeing the proposals come to fruition and learning how the students benefit from them.”
This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s Farmers Grow Communities, which gives farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting growcommunities.com.
Other school districts receiving the award in Ohio are Crestview Local Schools, Eastern Local Schools, Garaway Local, Northeastern Local, Ridgedale Community, West Liberty-Salem Local and Westfall Local.
(Andrea Chaffin is a staff writer for the Wilmington News Journal.)