Monmouth College receives $750,000 grant to prepare teachers for rural communities

MONMOUTH, Ill. (KWQC) – Monmouth College has received a federal grant to help support the college’s efforts in preparing teachers for rural communities.

The $750,000 grant comes from US Rep Cheri Bustos of Illinois who secured the grant through the federal Community Project Funding program.

The grant will be used to help support the Monmouth Rural Education Initiatives program, which addresses teacher shortages in rural communities, increases representation of teachers of color and encourages more student community engagement, stated a media release from the college.

“This exceptional grant recognizes and advances Monmouth College’s role as a force for good in our immediate community and in communities across Illinois,” said Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt. “I am proud of the work being led by our educational studies faculty members and their students. I am especially grateful to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos for her great efforts in securing this grant and for her strong partnership with Monmouth College.”

Monmouth representatives say since the program’s inception in 2019, the Monmouth Rural Education Initiatives program has worked with more than 150 students at the liberal arts college, three dozen of which went on to become teachers in the region.

The Monmouth Rural Education Initiatives has three components — the TARTANS Rural Teacher Corps, which place-based teaching sites that provide classrooms where students focus on their local place through project-based inquiry learning; and the Monmouth Educational Farm & Garden, which provides living resources that enrich hands-on education about agriculture, sustainability and nutrition, according to Monmouth representatives.

“Schools are the lifeblood of many rural communities,” said Monmouth educational studies co-chair. Tammy La Prad. “One way communities are strengthened is when they have visionary teachers who invest in them by extending their classrooms beyond the walls of a school building, and that is what the Monmouth Rural Education Initiatives prepares its educational studies graduates to do.”


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