Lodi High School is receiving a $4,710 Rural Schools Innovation Grant from Compeer Financial.

The money will be put toward developing and purchasing equipment for a new publication class to produce newscasts, announcements and editorials.

According to a press release from Compeer, which noted how the COVID-19 pandemic posed a variety of challenges to rural schools and their communities, the firm acknowledges that many schools tackled those challenges head on with creativity, innovation and commitment.

Compeer Financial, a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative based in the Upper Midwest, partnered with the Rural Schools Collaborative to award $150,211 in Rural Schools Innovation Grants to 22 rural schools that developed exemplary innovative programs during the pandemic, directly impacting 12,888 students.

The Rural Schools Innovation Grants allowed schools to share what they started doing during the pandemic, and how it worked. The funding will continue to advance these vital programs so more students can benefit from outside-the-box thinking.

“Even when faced with the unprecedented hardships of COVID-19, rural schools and communities persevered and turned their innovative ideas into reality,” said John Monson, chief missions and marketing officer at Compeer Financial. “By awarding the top innovations with funding, we’re ensuring longevity for these programs and promoting new ways of thinking.”

Grants of up to $10,000 per school district were available through this one-time program. Rural public schools in Compeer Financial’s 144-county territory in parts of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin were eligible to apply.

Other Wisconsin schools receiving grants include:

Ellsworth Elementary School, Ellsworth: adding warm, waterproof gear for students to wear while engaged in outdoor learning year round

Iowa-Grant, Livingston: constructing an outdoor space for learning

Luck High School, Luck: supporting school and FFA program to purchase food from local farmers and grow in the school green house

Mellen School, Mellen: adding an outdoor structure, tables and benches for outdoor learning

Mineral Point High School, Mineral Point: expand opportunities to better meet the production and programming needs of students, staff and community; and adding a class focused on multi-media productions

North Crawford Elementary, Soldiers Grove: providing books for students of all grade levels to keep at home

Potosi Elementary School, Potosi: creating permanent sensory paths on playground and adding a sensory path in the hallway. These paths allow students to move, which helps them focus on learning

School District of Turtle Lake, Turtle Lake: adding a pavilion and tables to school forest

Wauzeka-Steuben Schools, Wauzeka: providing books for students of all grade levels to keep at home

About Rural Schools Collaborative

The Rural Schools Collaborative is a national nonprofit launched in 2015 to build sustainable rural communities. With a keen focus on place, teachers, and philanthropy, RSC’s mission is realized through four signature efforts: The Place Network, Rural Teacher Corps, Grants in Place, and Impact Philanthropy. RSC is powered by a small, dedicated staff and board, as well as Regional Hub Partnerships. Learn more at ruralschoolscollaborative.org.

About the Fund for Rural America

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at Compeer.com/giving-back.

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