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Place-Based Forum

The Rural School and Community Trust’s Center for Midwestern Initiatives is committed to expanding place-based education in America’s heartland. Place-based education enhances student learning and improves community life by better connecting rural schools and communities and by engaging students in community-based public work.

Rural Trust Releases Special Report on School Violence

School Violence ReportViolence in U.S. K-12 Schools, 1974–2013: Patterns in Deadly Incidents and Mass Threat, a 2013 report from the Rural School and Community Trust, presents information gathered from some 700 media accounts of specific incidents of violence in schools since 1974.

Among these incidents, the Rural Trust found 80 accounts of mass violence, claiming 155 lives Although mass violence events capture more media attention, the report finds three times more deaths in one-on-one incidents. Overall, students were the most frequent perpetrators and victims of violence in schools. Only in elementary schools did adult intruders constitute a significant percentage of violent actors.

These numbers corroborate other evidence that schools can significantly reduce violence by developing positive environments that engage everyone in meaningful work and help students learn to prevent, resolve, and manage conflict.

The report underscores the need for more and better information about violence in the U.S. and about the practices and policies that will reduce the likelihood that anyone will be victimized at school or school functions.

In this regard, the Rural Trust hopes this report will help bring a rural perspective to policy debates about safety, guns, and violence in the U.S. These are important conversations that need the authentic engagement of all Americans.

The report can be viewed online or downloaded as a high-resolution print-ready PDF at the Rural Trust website.

Applications Closed for 2013 Global Teacher Fellowship

Katie Hendrickson at the Louvre
2012 RTGTF Fellow Katie Hendrickson at the Louvre's Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Applications are now closed for the Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship program for the Summer 2013 Fellowships.

Up to 25 fellowships will be awarded in 2013 to support the professional and personal development of rural teachers. The awards (up to $5,000 for individual teachers and $10,000 for a team of two or more teachers) support teachers’ participation in self-designed summer learning experiences and a two-day place-based learning institute in the fall following their summer experience.

Teachers are encouraged to center their learning in an international travel and study experience, out of which they develop interdisciplinary, place-based learning curricula aligned with their specific state and local content standards.

Eligibility: Any K–12 teacher working full-time and teaching at least 60% time in a rural community can apply for the fellowship. Counselors, media specialists, and other school personnel working in a teaching setting for at least 60% of their paid work time may also apply.

Find out more at www.globalteacherfellowship.ruraledu.org/.

USDA Announces Federal Resource Guide to Assist Rural Communities

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 20, 2012 - USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced the publication of a guide outlining programs the federal government has available to support rural communities as they promote economic development and enhance the quality of life for rural residents.

"Rural communities across the country are working hard to build their economies and provide services to their residents," Tonsager said during a speech here today at a conference of the National Rural Economic Developers Association. "Creating great places to live, raise families, provide recreational opportunities, and infrastructure for high paying jobs in rural America is very important to the Obama Administration and our efforts at USDA. This publication will provide easy, one-stop access to federal programs."

The publication "Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities" is a collaborative effort among USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. It ensures rural communities have access to all of the federal resources that can support their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments modernize infrastructure and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.

Read more: USDA Announces Federal Resource Guide to Assist Rural Communities