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Arts and Entertainment

$71,000 to Aid Rural Education Projects in Ozarks

Community Foundation of the Ozarks
Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Six projects that promote rural education across the region are recent recipients of grant funding from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

The $71,000 in total funds through the Rural Schools Partnership aids the principals of place-based education, which encourages schools to be engaged with the rural communities they anchor.

Among the recipients are Placeworks, which is getting $35,000 to fund high-quality arts programming for districts participating in the partnership. In cooperation with the Springfield Art Museum, teaching artists work on a case-by-case basis to design unique projects that meet interdisciplinary goals and student developmental needs.

$25,000 will go toward the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Professional Studies, or GO CAPS. It will fund a second year of summer teacher externships for teachers from GOCAPS participating districts, excluding Springfield. The externships, as they’re called, expose rural educators to the local business community to help enhance job preparation and modern workforce skills.

Additional funding through the Rural Schools Partnership is as follows:

Alton R-IV Schools:  $3,000 to help fund an amphitheater in the city park and a footbridge connecting the park to the Alton school campus.

Koshkonong School: $2,500 for the “Proud to be Rural” program, which will focus students on the benefits and opportunities of living in a rural community. 

Koshkonong School: $3,000 to fund a “Printing for Progress” T-shirt screen printing service for the district. Students will design, market and sell the shirts, gaining business experience in the process.

Marionville Elementary: $3,000 to fund a community garden run by Marionville fifth graders in conjunction with the high school FFA chapter. Students will operate the greenhouse and gain practical business experience by selling produce and tracking revenue generated by the project.

The grants were presented at CFO’s annual Rural Education Rendezvous in Mansfield. Funding comes through a long-standing partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Regional Grantmaking Program of The Commerce Trust Company.

According to CFO, the Coover Place-Based Education Grant program is made possible by the generosity of the late Mrs. Coover, a longtime Commerce Bank employee, who established the Foundation in honor of her husband. Since its inception in 1992, the Coover Charitable Grantmaking program has awarded about $4.6 million to communities and schools across central and southern Missouri.