Illinois Public School District Receives $25,000 Grant to Update Technology

Gaining experience with technology is important for student development. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, Griggsville-Perry Public School District, Ill., received a $25,000 grant to integrate STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) with the National Core Curriculum Standards. The school district will purchase 5 laptop computers, along with a storage cart, wireless access, two color printers and aquatic/soil field testing equipment. The district hopes the grant will help enhance the science and agriculture curriculum.

Students will work with the nominating farmers and conduct research on their farms. They will use the new equipment to do monthly soil water testing on five farms in the community and compare the results over the whole year to observe impact of weather on water and soil. The project gives students the opportunity to work with different types of soil, write reports and talk to farmers about the results.

“We are so appreciative of the farmers for being so gracious and willing to work with our kids and offer their soil and time to us, giving the students the opportunity to experience real world applications with them,” said Andrea Allen, Griggsville-Perry superintendent.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, offers farmers the chance to nominate a local public school district, which can then compete for a grant of up to $25,000 to enhance math and/or science education. More than 1,150 nominated school districts submitted applications during the last program year.

“It’s such a phenomenal opportunity for our students to be afforded better equipment. The students know that it is through partnership with our community and with the Monsanto Fund that we are able to purchase these things. It is a valuable lesson for our students to learn,” said Allen.

Griggsville-Perry received the grant during a check presentation ceremony at the Griggsville Apple Festival last Sept.

Nominated school districts across the country submitted grant applications last spring. During the summer, a panel of educators from ineligible districts reviewed and evaluated applications based on merit, need and community involvement. The strongest submissions were then sent to the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council. The Advisory Council, comprised of farmer-leaders with an interest in agriculture and education, selected the winning grant applications from this pool of finalists.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education launched nationally in 2012 and has grown to include 1,289 eligible counties in 39 states. Since its inception, the program has invested nearly $5 million in rural school districts across the country.

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education helps farmers support math and science education in local rural school districts. Currently in its third year, this program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural education and communities. The 2014 nomination period is Jan. 6 to April 6, 2014. Applications are due April 21, 2014. To learn more about the program, please visit GrowRuralEducation.com.