Rural Schools Partnership

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Principles of place-based education guide CFO’s commitment to rural education.

A model for rural education

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In 2009, the CFO founded the Rural Schools Partnership as part of its regional commitment because schools are anchors for rural communities.

About 100 rural school districts have created education foundations with the CFO to raise private dollars for needs and special projects not covered through public funding.

Ozarks Teacher Corps

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Encouraging the next generation of rural educators.

Since 2009, the RSP program has grown to include the Ozarks Teacher Corps, an innovative program that provides two-year renewable scholarships to teacher-education majors willing to teach in a rural district for at least three years after graduation. This cohort-style program creates a network for young teachers to learn from each other and rural education leaders.

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Raising the Bar for Rural Education

The success of the Ozarks Teacher Corps and the Rural Schools Partnership was recently featured in the High Plains Journal, a publication serving other midwestern states.


Rural Schools Collaborative

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Extending the rural education model to regions across the country.

The principles of the Rural Schools Partnership are being replicated in other areas of the country through this collaborative network. Members, funders and educators share innovative place-based best practices and resources for asset development.


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Inspiring creative and critical thinking in rural students through arts-based projects.

Through the Placeworks arts outreach program, teaching artists travel to rural schools to create customized cross-curricular projects linking art to core studies like history and science. Rural students also take field trips to visit sites related to their projects like the Springfield Art Museum or the Watershed Center. Placeworks is made possible through the CFO’s partnership with the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, managed by the Commerce Trust Co.

Your Rural Schools Partners

Our staff has decades of experience working with educators and nonprofits.

  • Contact Holly Beadle for more information on education foundations and our rural schools programs.
  • Contact Beth Hersh for more information on the CFO’s scholarship program.
  • Contact Krista Moncado for more information on the Youth Empowerment Project.
  • Contact Ashley Fleming for all other matters relating to the Rural Schools Partnership.

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