Guide to Session Materials: Rural Education Working Group 2009

Last Updated: May 26, 2009

Download selected handouts and PowerPoint presentations from REWG-2009 workshops. All documents are available as PDFs.
Note: Some workshops were discussion or activity-based and do not have downloadable materials.
Click here to view the complete agenda from this event.


How Public Policy Abets the Destruction of Rural Environments, Communities, and Schools and How Communities are Fighting Back

Click for larger image of Duplin County MapMany rural communities are fighting large-scale environmental devastation wrought by corporate activities and abetted by lax environmental regulation and enforcement. Whether the issue is surface coal mining; large-scale corporate agriculture; timber plantations and clear-cutting; toxic pollution and land fills, the result is often the same: the quality of life, health, and environment in rural communities is compromised, people are forced to leave, and schools and other institutions are closed. In this panel discussion, organizers will describe environmental challenges facing rural communities, explore common elements and describe efforts to create healthy and sustainable rural communities.

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Map of Duplin County, North Carolina. The number of industrial hog operations in rural Duplin County, North Carolina has grown significantly and they are located close to schools, churches, homes, and communities.


Anatomy of a Youth-Adult Partnership for Change

This interactive workshop will focus on the development of high performing youth-adult partnerships including:
  • Why is it important to involve young people?
  • What do authentic partnerships look like?
  • How do we blend the diverse knowledge, attitudes and skills of young people and their adult partners?
  • What are the challenges and solutions of doing work together?
Download Selected Workshop Materials
Rubric for Youth-Adult Partnerships
Youth Engagement: A Celebration Across Time and Culture


How to be Effective Working with Legislators

Have you wanted to talk with your representatives but didn't know where to start? Do you understand the legislative process? Have you ever visited your statehouse? If these questions pose a challenge to you, come hear people who have had various experiences working with their legislators. The presenters will share their viewpoints in a roundtable discussion on their successes and what they would do differently while working with legislators.

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  • Bill Writing Guidelines. This guide to developing a legislative bill is available on the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association website.
  • Model Legislation Template: State High School Graduation Rates Formula. Proposed Legislative Bill Template for Use By States in Developing Legislation Relating to the Collection of Accurate Data About State High School Graduation Rates. This model legislation template related to calculating an accurate high school graduate rate is available at the website of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators website.


Rural School Finance Update: Tying a Knot and Hanging On

How are rural schools dealing with the worst budget times in memory? Come to this year's update and hear how we are faring in the courts, in legislatures, and locally as cutbacks and shortfalls put rural schools at the end of their ropes. A panel of practitioners will provide real-world perspective on how the toughest finance decisions are made and what the priorities are as we look ahead.

Please contact amanda.adler@ruraledu if you have questions or want materials from this session.


Create Positive Change by Telling Positive Stories

With limited time, attention spans, resources, and in the case of the media, public service space and airtime, getting your message, mission, and successes to the public is best done by sharing compelling and repeatable stories. Learn how to capture interest, effect positive change, and generate resources as you share your experiences. This session is about the most powerful tool in your communications kit -- stories! We will review the science behind how and why stories work, and how to be an effective storyteller. Plus, "lights, camera, action" you'll have an opportunity to tell your story on video!

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Relative Advantages of Different Media for Communicating


Why Rural Matters 2009: A Sneak Peek

Why Rural Matters 2009 is the fifth in a series of reports that analyze the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calls attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should attend to rural education issues. This edition will include a special focus on the "Rural 800" -- the 800 highest poverty rural districts in the US. The session will offer a preview of the not-yet-released report, with plenty of discussion to prepare participants to use the report's results in their organizing and policy work.


Mobilizing Youth in Revitalizing Communities

Across rural America, youth are involved in efforts to revitalize the economies and well-being of their communities. In Louisiana, students have started youth-run tax centers to help residents file tax returns, recover earned income tax credits and teach people how to manage their money. In other states, students are involved in generating alternative energy sources, promoting local organic farming, using technology to promote town businesses and support town services, documenting local histories, and designing entrepreneurial programs. Hear how this work is changing students’ attitudes about self-esteem, engagement and achievement.

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Mobilizing Youth in Revitalizing Communities


Taking Schools Away: The School Consolidation Crusade

From Maine to Alabama and Idaho to South Carolina, there is a new wave of legislative attempts to close rural schools. You'll get an overview of this issue from a national perspective and a round table discussion by rural activists from four states.

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Taking Schools Away: The Consolidation Crusade


Lessons Learned – What to Do and Not Do in Revitalizing Communities

Advocates for Community and Rural Education (ACRE) has worked for the last six years on preserving and improving rural schools in Arkansas. This past year they decided to go to the root of the problem and began community revitalization projects, a ground-up approach to improving education, the economy, the environment, community services, and arts and heritage preservation in three small rural communities. The presenters will tell how they developed the project, what worked, and what didn't.

Download Selected Workshop Materials
ACRE: Community Revitalization
De-consolidation: Grangeville, Idaho


"Can You Hear Me Now?"

This informative workshop addresses practical ways to communicate any message. Participants will be exposed to effective communication and recruitment strategies in an interactive session. "Can You Hear Me Now" is guaranteed to assist beginners and been-there-done-that folks with effective communication and advocacy tools.


ABCs of Discipline

This session will provide legal training on school discipline policy and information on related advocacy issues to help students navigate the process and avoid disciplinary procedures when possible. Advocates will describe how they've worked in their communities to improve outcomes for individual students as well as change policies for the better. Information will also be provided on mining discipline data.

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Discipline Analysis in Three North Carolina Counties

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Yes We Can -- Move From Talk to Action

This session features community members and Connecting School and Community partners involved in a dialogue-to-action groups or in study circles in a panel moderated by Jereann King Johnson to examine the tensions and challenges as well as the supports and opportunities for "taking action" to ensure success for all children.


Raising Money from Private Foundations: How to Find It, How to Get It, How to Keep Getting It

Take the mystery out of fund raising from private foundations. Learn about doing your homework, initial contacts, making your case, talking in "their" voice, site visits, and the most important secret of all.

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Raising Money from Private Foundations