NREA Weekly Updates: April 29th, 2022

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NREA Podcast
Raising Rural: A Fair Chance for a Good Life, which will explore creative and cooperative action around three strands: community, agency, and creativity.
NFARE 2022 Updates:

  1. Research Proposals are currently in the review process. More information in May. 
  2. Regular proposals are screened and presenters have been sent a confirmation email. Be sure to check spam or junk folders.  
  3. We received 400 proposals this year. We will be reaching out to presenters planning our new feature the pre-conference special invite session.  Check your emails for requests.  
  4. Registration information will be out in May.  
WIU Receives $650,000 Grant to Combat Illinois Teacher Shortage
WIU Receives $650,000 Grant to Combat Illinois Teacher Shortage
Illinois is currently facing a significant teacher shortage, which is greatly affecting rural schools and communities where the shortage is most acute. Over the past five years, Western Illinois University has been making great strides to help conquer this shortage by prioritizing the development of new programs designed to help recruit, incentivize, place, and graduate more teachers.
In 2018, Western Illinois University received a capacity-building grant from our Illinois Hub anchor, the Galesburg Community Foundation to launch their Great River Teacher Corps (GRTC), a program that “recruits and develops highly talented teachers to work in schools in West Central Illinois.” The GRTC program provides students with scholarship assistance in exchange for a 3-year commitment to teach at a rural school in one of 22 eligible counties.
Since the launch of the GRTC program, WIU has launched a new Master of Arts in Teacher (MAT) - Alternative Licensing Program, allowing program candidates to be hired by a school district on a provisional license and earn a salary while working through the program. Launched in January of 2021, the MAT program has already registered more than 120 students and placed 65 teachers this year.
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State Affiliate Highlight: Illinois, Minnesota, & Wisconsin.
NREAC: Clean School Bus Program Funding
Prepare for Clean School Bus Funding
Prepare for Clean School Bus Funding
Get Ready for the Rebate Program!
EPA anticipates it will begin accepting applications for Clean School Bus Rebates in late April 2022. While preparing to apply for this program and other future funding opportunities, please keep in mind the following steps:
Additional Information
  1. Sign up for Clean School Bus Program newsEXITXIT EPA WEBSITE
  2. . These email announcements will have the latest news and developments on program funding and how to apply.
  3. Attend a Clean School Bus informational webinar. Learn about Clean School Buses, hear new program information and access funding opportunities from EPA and other partners.
  4. Get started on setting up all required accounts so that your organization is ready to apply on day one of the application period. Organizations applying for funds must have:
  • An active System for Award Management (sam.govEXIT) registration for the entity that is applying. Entity registrations are different than having an individual user account on Please check now to ensure your organization is registered in and that the registration has not expired.
  • Even if your organization is actively registered as an entity, be sure to review all registration information, including banking information, to ensure it is accurate.
  • Note: is transitioning from using a DUNS number to having a new Unique Entity ID (UEI). Organizations applying for rebates must know their UEI. More information on this transition can be found here:
  • If your organization has no record of a registration, expired or active, and needs to create a new registration, the simplest entity registration type that can participate in the Clean School Bus Program is the “Federal Assistance Awards Only” registration.
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Discovery Education
Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education Launch Early Learning Channel for PreK to Grade 2 Kids
Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education Launch Early Learning Channel for PreK to Grade 2 Kids
(New York, NY, April 19, 2022) Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Discovery Education, a worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art, K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place, announced the creation of a new Sesame Workshop-branded early learner channel designed to meet the needs of children from PreK to grade 2. Consistent with Discovery Education’s solutions for schools, the channel will include high-quality video content today’s students know and love, as well as lesson plans and educator resources; interactive games and activities for kids; and family partnership supports—all focused on a whole-child approach.
The Sesame Workshop channel, with innovative teaching and learning solutions, will be available in the fall on Discovery Education’s learning platform. Beginning with curricular resources designed to address new and continuing needs associated with interrupted schooling and prioritized by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSR) funding, the content comprises social and emotional development and wellness; foundational academic skills in math and literacy; and a social studies-aligned curriculum focused on positive and healthy identity and sense of belonging. At the center of these resources will be research-based content from across the wide range of Sesame Workshop media, including Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and more.
“Sesame Workshop is committed to ensuring school readiness and helping children develop the emotional, social, and cognitive skills needed to become lifelong learners,” said Akimi Gibson, Vice President & Educational Publisher, Sesame Workshop. “As part of this ongoing commitment, we are thrilled to partner with Discovery Education to distribute proven, cohesive yet flexible PreK-2 curricular resources directly into the hands of schools and the educators of our youngest learners. Discovery Education’s 20+ years of expertise in the learning space and their leadership in delivering high-quality supplemental curriculum at a tremendous scale make them an ideal collaborator in our efforts to help all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”
“Sesame Workshop’s success can be attributed to its collaborative, research-intensive approach to the development of highly engaging, child-centered media and programs,” said Pete Weir, Chief Product Officer, Discovery Education. “Their offerings reflect both a deep understanding of children’s developmental needs and the best ways to address those needs. We are excited to partner with Sesame Workshop to bring the first dedicated PreK-2 channel to our award-winning K-12 platform, and are eager to collaborate with educators nationwide on their efforts to align their early childhood initiatives, state standards, and kindergarten readiness goals.”
Additional content areas, such as STEAM, healthy habits, and coding are being prioritized through educator feedback and will be added in the future. To learn more about this exciting partnership and do a deep dive into the Discovery Education platform with our new summer learning activities, grab-and-go instructional activities, and new resources to support SEL and ELL call or email Discovery Education at (888) 280-7493 or
The Rural Educator
Grounded in Relationships of Support: Indigenous Teacher Mentorship in the Rural West
Grounded in Relationships of Support: Indigenous Teacher Mentorship in the Rural West
This article explores the power of Indigenous teacher mentorship as essential to address “the change in point of view” long called for in Indigenous education. Drawing from a longitudinal, ethnographic study of an Indigenous teacher education program in a predominantly rural, high-need region, we examine the basic questions: What do Indigenous master teachers uniquely bring to teacher education? In what ways do Indigenous master teachers support the development of socially, culturally, linguistically, and place-responsive teachers? Using the theoretical frameworks of Tribal Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit) and situated learning, our findings elucidate the importance of Indigenous mentorship for remembering and re-claiming Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies, and axiologies in relational and intergenerational learning—practices that interrupt coloniality in teacher education and school leadership. Discussion of Indigenous teacher mentorship centers on the importance of relationships between people and place in teaching and learning and asks educators and school leaders to conceptualize Indigenous teacher education as a long-term project of tribal nation-building and community wellbeing.

Vanessa Anthony-Stevens University of Idaho,
Iva Moss University of Idaho, Angela Como Jacobson University of Idaho,
Rebekka Boysen-Taylor University of Idaho,
Shawna Campbell-Daniels University of Idaho,
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Webinars & Trainings
On Tuesday, May 3 at 12:30 PM EDT (9:30 AM PDT), join expert analysts from Future Design School and unpack emerging education trends analyzed in The Future of Education Report 2022, including:
- Developing and measuring critical competencies
- Creating a future-ready Portrait of a Graduate
- Implementing personalized inquiry and individualized progression
- Rethinking assessment

During this exclusive webinar, NREA members will gain access to exclusive research and insights on how schools are shifting to address the skills gap and explore inspiring case studies from around the world.

Register here:
Rural Education SIG 102
Rural Education SIG 102
The Rural Education Special Interest Group (SIG) promotes scholarly conversation about the lives of rural people, places, and their schools through research and provides a forum for the dissemination of this research. Sponsored by The NREA.
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NREA Latest Partnership: Kajeet


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