October 6th, 2015
Amy Sitton, Egyptian High School English teacher, was recognized with her students at an October 6th school event for her successful Grants in Place project, which will focus on student leadership and school-community problem solving. Ms. Sitton received $1,000 from the Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) and matching funds from the Southern Illinois University College of Education and Human Services and the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools (AIRSS) for her exemplary place-based project.
Located in Tamms, Illinois, Egyptian High School will be the site of a student-led investigation into school climate and how it impacts gender-related issues and behavioral expectations. Sitton will coordinate what will be hands-on endeavor by a number of participating students. After David Ardrey, AIRRS executive director and RSC board chairman, made the presentation to Amy her students, he reflected on the value of the project.
“The boys and girls will have the freedom to learn about gender issues without the social pressures of their counterpart peers,” said Ardrey. He added, “I am intrigued by the concept and both interested and excited to see the outcomes.”
Ardrey concluded by saying, “I wish we could say that we planned on the word ‘Responsibility’ showing up on the sign behind us when we shot the photo, but honesty compels me to admit that was pure coincidence.”
Coincidence, perhaps. But a good omen for sure.
The Rural Schools Collaborative was organized in 2014 and launched in April 2015. RSC believes that community-based instruction, thoughtful collaboration, and targeted philanthropy strengthen the fabric of rural places. Its Grants in Place program is funding 35 innovative projects in seven states.
The organization is currently engaged in nine states with an administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.