I Am Nature Smart: Grants for Rural Schools

Early County Schools in Georgia may be a small, rural community. But the educators noticed their students were missing a key piece of information about their environment.

“It’s surprising, we live in a rural community but a lot of our students have yet to connect that this is where the food comes from,” says Jackie Williams, Early County teacher.

But students are now able to see that connection in a hands-on way thanks to a rural education grant from America’s Farmers.

Farmers Supporting Schools

When a local farmer noticed the school district was in need, they nominated Early County Schools for a $10,000 Grow Rural Education grant from America’s Farmers.

“This grant has enabled our students to have an opportunity that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Williams says.

With the grant money, elementary students have been able to experience a gardening program to help them get out of the classroom and apply what they’ve been learning to real-life situations. The school has also been able to purchase a hoop house where they can plant and harvest year-round.

The grant money is extending beyond the elementary school as well. Early County High School hopes to use the funds in order to provide food to its culinary arts program.

“The culinary arts program will learn their trade and then be able to, in turn, give that to some of our most needy residents, including our senior citizens,” says Tim Spooner, Early County teacher.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Each year, Grow Rural Education awards $2.3 million in science, technology, engineering and math grants to public school districts across the U.S. Your school district’s students could have a brighter future, like those in the Early County schools.

“By having $10,000 for a school system like ours in rural south Georgia … it says that we believe in you, and we believe you’re going to do great things,” Spooner says. “We believe that you have the ability to go out and give back to your community.”

From encouraging girls to pursue STEM fields to enhancing the educational experience of deaf and blind students in Idaho, these rural education grants enable students to pursue their dreams.

Are you a local American farmer who has a deserving school district in mind? The Grow Rural Education entry period for nominations closes on April 1. For school districts have been nominated for a $10,000 or $25,000 grant, please submit your application by April 15.