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Thayer Central receives $10,000 Monsanto award

The use of technology in the classroom allows students to complete more complex tasks and increases collaboration with peers, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Though all school districts are constantly challenged to incorporate the use of technology in the classroom, it is often hard for rural school districts to afford ever-improving technologies that enhance learning. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural EducationSM, Thayer Central Community Schools received a $10,000 grant to purchase Vernier technology, which is used for data collection and analysis.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gives farmers the opportunity to nominate a public school district in their community to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000 to enhance education in the areas of math and/or science. More than 1,000 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million into rural education through this program.

“The impact of this grant will translate into huge gains for our kids in the areas of science and technology,” said Drew Harris, Thayer Central Community Schools superintendent. “Thanks to America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education and the farmers who nominated us, we are able to offer our students cutting-edge research materials that will complement their personal laptops and raise their levels of excitement for science experiments. The effects of this grant will be seen down the road through improved test scores, additional scholarships and personal success in students’ chosen fields.”

After being nominated by local farmers, school districts completed an online application, and finalists were chosen by math and science teachers from ineligible school districts. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 26 prominent farmers from across the country, then reviewed the finalists’ applications and selected the winners.

“We are extremely grateful to the farmers that not only nominated our district for this grant but are constant supporters of our kids,” Harris said. “Farmers, rural schools and Monsanto recognize the importance of science and agriculture for the coming generations.”

Thayer Central Community Schools was presented with the $10,000 grant at halftime of its home football game on Oct. 18.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education started with a successful pilot in Illinois and Minnesota in 2011, in which farmers were given the opportunity to nominate a public school district in 165 eligible counties in those two states. The Monsanto Fund awarded more than $266,000 to local schools in 16 CRDs. Now, the program has expanded to 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education helps farmers positively impact their communities and supports local rural school districts. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund’s overall effort to support rural education and communities. Another program that is part of this effort is America’s

Farmers Grow Communities, which gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite community nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers can participate in this program through Nov. 30, 2012 by visiting www.growcommunities.com.

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