Meek Elementary in Arley, AL.

The Rural School Collaborative is a brand new organization dedicated to furthering the cause of rural schools across the country.  Much of their work centers around the concept of place-based education where schools and teachers make special effort to help  students learn more about the world in which they live and to incorporate this world into their teaching.

For instance, a class might collect samples from nearby water sources and make a science project take on new meaning as they analyze samples, learn about what endangers streams, what wildlife depend on these sources, etc.  Suddenly, instead of just a textbook and perhaps a smart board, the lesson comes “alive” and young minds begin to see things through a different set of eyes.

The collaborative has just announced 35 grant winners in seven states.  The lone Alabama winner is Meek Elementary.  Their grant of 943 will be used to upgrade their outdoor classroom, including installing a weather station and creating a turtle habitat.  Fifth grade teacher Debra Johnson coordinates this project.

See here for a list of all grant winners across the country and to learn more about the Rural School Collaborative.

Congratulations to principal Amy Hiller, her staff and students.