Sharing, Grants and Empowerment Mark 2012 Thomasville Rendezvous

Dr. Francisco Guajardo (right) speaks with Purdy student Lino Arez during his keynote address in Thomasville.

The Rural Schools Partnership and 100 of its closest friends spent Thursday, April 26 in Thomasville, Mo., where the tenants of place-based education were shared among educators, students and those with a passion for improving rural communities.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Francisco Guajardo, Ph.D., Rural School and Community Trust Vice Chair and Associate Professor in the Dept. of Educational Leadership University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. He spoke about the importance of stories, not only in terms of the culture of our communities, but the value of each individual’s personal story. He was also an active participant in each of three breakout sessions, where students from Purdy, St. James and Dora shared RSP-sponsored projects with the Rendezvous attendees.

The business of the day included the awarding of Coover Place-Based education grants (totaling $125,500), the introduction of the new class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, and an overview of the Placeworks program where schools can apply for a visiting artist to develop place-based art projects. Lunch and mingling rounded out the day.

Look for more on Thomasville, including full lists of grant recipients and Teacher Corps members, in coming days and weeks.