09-09-14 Grant gives new life to district’s math and science education in Kiowa County School District RE-1 in CO…

 Listen to the interview with Jon Bailey, a science teacher @ the Kiowa County School District RE-1 in Eads…

093014_AFGRE_EadsJonBailey_8m17s

Pictured left to right: Justin McCloud (middle school math and science teacher), Betsy Barnett (Principal), Robert Brachtenbach (Monsanto Rep), Jon Bailey (high school science teacher), Glenn Smith (Superintendent).

Pictured left to right: Justin McCloud (middle school math and science teacher), Betsy Barnett (Principal), Robert Brachtenbach (Monsanto Rep), Jon Bailey (high school science teacher), Glenn Smith (Superintendent).

GrowRuralEducationGraphicEADS, Colo. (September 9, 2014) – The Kiowa County School District RE-1 has received a $25,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The district will use the funds for technology and curriculum upgrades in the middle school and high school math and science programs. More than 68% of the students in the district will see positive changes in their classes as a result of the learning enhancements this grant will provide.

Both schools will benefit from new SMART boards in math classrooms, upgraded lab equipment in science classrooms, and the creation of a Science Olympiad team, which will involve 12-15 middle school and 20-25 high school students. This new team gives students the opportunity to become more involved in their math and science education, by competing against other students from around the region.

“By purchasing the new materials the science classes will be able to be more hands on and create more interest in the fields of science and math,” said Jon Bailey, science teacher at Eads High School. “This approach to learning provides our students with a higher level of education to better prepare them for the real world.”  Through this funding, Bailey is also implementing Chemistry 101, a course that will allow juniors and seniors to gain college credit in chemistry while still enrolled in high school.

In this agriculture-focused community, investing in science and math education is important to the success and continuation of family farms. The community relies on its youth to help out on the farm, where they can incorporate new farming practices and what they have learned in school.

“One of the biggest things we want to get out of this program is to get more students interested in careers in science and math, where there are lots of jobs to be filled,” said Bailey. “We are looking to prepare our kids for the next step in their lives and encourage them to reach out and look for a career that will help benefit the community.”

This past spring, local farmers nominated the district for a chance to apply for the grant. School administrators then designed a math and science based project for the grant application. Once all of the school district applications were submitted, a panel of math and science teachers reviewed each application and selected finalists.  An advisory council, composed of farmer-leaders with an interest in agriculture and education, then selected the winning grant applications from a pool of finalists.

“Agriculture has become one of the most technologically advanced industries, so farmers are very aware of the need for superior math and science education, particularly in their own communities,” said Monsanto Customer Advocacy Lead Linda Arnold. “We are proud to partner with farmers to support the things that are most important to them—schools, youth, and their community.”

The district celebrated receiving the grant on Friday, Sept. 5, during the halftime of the football game at Eads High School. Nominating farmers, school representatives and local Monsanto representative Robert Brachtenbach hosted the event.

Grow Rural Education encourages farmers to nominate a local public school district, which can then compete for a grant of up to $25,000. Since 2011, Grow Rural Education has invested more than $7 million to support math and science education in rural school districts across the country.

This program is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which partners with farmers to support education, service organizations and youth in rural America. Visit GrowRuralEducation.com to see the full list of winners for this year. A sister program, America’s Farmers Grow Communities is currently in its enrollment period. To sign up, visit GrowCommunities.com.

About America’s Farmers

The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern US Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America. To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at www.AmericasFarmers.com.

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.