The ability to receive quality education varies across the country, but no matter where a student lives, it is vital to their future success. However, students in rural areas consistently have lower access to good education.
At America’s Farmers, our Grow Rural Education grants, sponsored by the Bayer Fund, aim to enhance schooling with the help of local farmers across the U.S.
A Rural Education Crisis
More than half of U.S. school districts are located in rural areas according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And yet many students in these districts are struggling to receive the attention they deserve.
While the percent of rural students who have completed high school has increased over the years, only 29 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in rural areas are enrolled in college as opposed to 47 percent of their urban peers.
Poverty often exists in rural America and is even more persistent than in urban areas. This can create inequalities on top of the racial inequalities already felt in many rural communities.
Barriers to Education
There are many factors that impact rural students’ access to quality education.
Financial issues can create many of the barriers to a quality education. It may lead to reduced funding for academic programs as well as limited school transportation as students may be dispersed and/or live a long distance from consolidated rural schools.
Students in rural areas may also have limited access to high-speed internet, a detriment considering how much modern day education relies on it for curriculum, project research, testing and more.
Rural students often have lower reading scores which may be affected by his or her home life, especially if they are living in poverty. And many rural schools offer a fraction of the advanced courses available to students in urban areas.
How Farmers Can Help
Luckily, there are many reform methods taking place in an effort to increase rural students’ access to quality education, especially in STEM fields. And America’s Farmers is taking strides to help.
American farmers — you can make a lasting impact on rural schools today. Whether your local district is in need of a better STEM program for girls or innovative science labs for hands-on learning, a Grow Rural Education grant could set students up for success.
Nominate your local rural public school district through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. Your school district could win a $10,000 or $25,000 STEM education grant, transforming the lives of local students.
When farmers nominate, students win.