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CFO Kicks Off Rural School Partnership

On Wednesday, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks launched a new partnership designed to strengthen small school districts in rural parts of the state.

The Rural Schools Partnership will help fund schools across southern Missouri. It will make it easier for schools to raise money and will allow some to receive matching grants. The new partnership will also allow schools to compete for grants in the areas of place-based education and resource development.

Dr. Gary Funk is the president of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

“One of the most exciting aspects of this is how do you support place-based education. Well, I’m sorry, money matters,” said Funk.

Place-based education allows students to make a difference in their communities by solving local problems. It looks at a child’s community as the greater classroom, and employs a lot of hands-on learning.

Funk said there are a lot of good ideas that simply don’t have the funding. He said through the new partnership, $150,000 will be available to fund some of these ideas.

Funk also said he hopes that the partnership will strengthen the bonds between rural schools and their communities.

The CFO currently has $130 million in charitable assets and has 41 affiliated community foundations across southern Missouri.

For more information you can visit or contact a regional CFO office.