Gov. Jay Nixon visits Chadwick to award a Smart Start early-childhood grant

The CFO's Julie Leeth speaks at Gov. Jay Nixon's announcement that Chadwick schools won a Missouri Smart Start grant for an early-childhood center. At right is Jacklyn Aldrich, the special education director who wrote the grant.

The CFO’s Julie Leeth speaks at Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement that Chadwick schools won a Missouri Smart Start grant for an early-childhood center. At right is Jacklyn Aldrich, the special education director who wrote the grant.

The CFO’s Julie Leeth speaks at Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement that Chadwick schools won a Missouri Smart Start grant for an early-childhood center. At right is Jacklyn Aldrich, the special education director who wrote the grant.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Chadwick schools today to announce the district won a competitive grant of $937,500 to build an early-childhood education center through the Missouri Smart Start program.

The CFO was invited to participate in the announcement because the CFO will receive the grant on behalf of the school district, which will build a 5,000-square-foot facility to house three classrooms for three-year-olds, four-year-olds and pre-K special education students.

“You are taking meaningful steps to give your children the best possible start,” Gov. Nixon told the assembled educators, parents and local leaders in the eastern Christian County district, which has about 200 students. “It’s clear there is a focus on education here.”

He cited the growing body of evidence that children’s brain development and the long-term success in school are determined before they ever reach kindergarten. An emphasis on quality early-childhood education increases the likelihood for success on both cognitive and socio-emotional levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Placeworks subject of Aug. 5 CFO community column

PlaceworksLogoColorThis week’s CFO column on the News-Leader’s Community page highlights the Placeworks Arts Initiative, a program of the Rural Schools Parntership that brings customized, cross-curricular art projects directly into the classrooms across the Ozarks.

Funded primarily by the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation of The Commerce Trust Co., Placeworks is executed by a cadre of teaching artists, each with their own areas of artistic emphasis. Music, visual art, dance, crafts, theater… it’s all on the table(au). Teachers apply for the programming with an administrator’s support, and are asked only for the time and space to make the magic happen. If a field trip is necessary as part of the lesson, that is incorporated into the programming.

You can read the entire column at News-Leader.com.

The CFO’s column runs every Tuesday, in rotation with other organizations on the News-Leader’s Community page, which is published daily. We appreciate this opportunity to share our work with News-Leader readers across the region.

RSP’s 2014-15 grant rounds, deadlines announced

As part of its 2014-15 community grantmaking round announced last week, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is proud to announce the 2014-15 grant programs for the Rural Schools Partnership, as well. These grant cycles, designed to benefit teachers and students in the rural schools that make up the RSP’s network, include two distinct grant rounds and the Ozarks Teacher Corps scholarship program, in addition to the Placeworks Arts Initiative and Youth Empowerment Project grants.

This year’s deadlines are:

RSP/YEP Student Conservation Grants:  Up to a total of $10,000 to is available for student-led conservation projects. The Student Conservation grants are funded through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Rural Schools Conservation Fund and the Rural Schools Conservation Fund. All grants will be awarded through Youth Empowerment Project chapters. Please speak with your district’s YEP sponsor, or call Bridget Dierks at (417) 864-6199, for more information. The deadline for this opportunity is 5 p.m. on  Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

The Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Place-Based Education Grantmaking Program of Commerce Trust: The Coover grantmaking program will provide grants this year in support for cooperative ventures that enhance teaching and learning through place-based education programs. The grants are intended to foster the basic tenets of place-based education.  Please view our short video that explains the nature of the Coover grantmaking program. The Rural Schools Partnership encourages proposals that include local matches or other leveraged resources.

Grants of up to $10,000 each are available to qualified applicants. Applicants who receive funding will be required to attend the 2015 Rural Schools Rendezvous in April 2015 (location TBA). The deadline for the 2014-15 cycle of Coover Place-Based Education grants is Friday, March 20, 2015.

Ozarks Teacher Corps:  The Ozarks Teacher Corps develops a cadre of talented teaching candidates who will explore rural education issues, serve as teacher interns in small schools, and commit to teaching in their respective home communities for at least three years.  The overarching purpose of the Ozarks Teacher Corps is to encourage extremely capable and passionate young people to become educators and return to their rural hometowns as teacher-leaders. This program is made possible by the Chesley and Flora Lea Wallis Trust, a $1.7 million Community Foundation of the Ozarks charitable fund.

Upon selection, participants will receive a $4,000 per year scholarship for their junior and senior years.  If recipients do not complete their teaching certification or program or honor their commitment to teach in their hometown (or other rural school), the scholarship will be revoked. Applications for the 2015 class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2015.

You can find links for more information and applications for all of these programs at www.ruralschoolspartnership.org/grants.