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Bus Grants Bridge the Gap Between Youth & the Iowa’s Agricultural Story

Northeast Iowa – Over 1,800 students from Northeast Iowa schools now have an opportunity, they may have otherwise missed, to learn firsthand about Iowa’s rich agricultural heritage. For the 2013-2014 school year, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) awarded $10,016 to 34 schools within the Heritage Area; helping cover the costs of field trips to 17 different SSNHA Partner Sites. Some of the sites that will be visited throughout the school year include; Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, Hudson; Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Burr Oak; and Living History Farms, Urbandale.

The bus grants, which help to cover the transportation costs associated with field trips to SSNHA Partner Sites and farms throughout the region, are awarded on a first-received, first-funded basis to accredited Pre K-12 public, private or charter schools located in the Heritage Area; with a maximum of $350 per school building. This year the funds went very quickly and were completely gone in one month. Funding for this program is made possible through individual contributions, corporate donations and federal funds. Specifically SSNHA would like to thank the GROWMARK Foundation for their financial contribution to the Bus Grant Program for the third consecutive year. Almost 13,000 students have benefited from this program since it started in 2007.

“Many of today’s youth have little connection to agriculture and where their food comes from. Thanks to support from GROWMARK, we are able to help spur these hands-on learning opportunities for thousands of Northeast Iowa youth,” commented Don Short, SSNHA President.

Schools receiving grants include (arranged alphabetically by community):
AGWSR Community School, Ackley; Baxter Community School, Baxter; Bellevue Elementary School, Bellevue; Northeast Hamilton, Blairsburg; Bryant Elementary, Bryant; Washington Elementary, Charles City; Lincoln Elementary, Charles City; Indian Hills Junior High School, Clive; North-Linn Elementary, Coggon; St. Benedict Elementary School, Decorah; Decorah Middle School, Decorah; Capitol View Elementary School, Des Moines; Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School, Dubuque; Prescott Elementary, Dubuque; Learn & Play Preschool, Evansdale; Helen Lemme Elementary School, Iowa City; Janesville Consolidated School, Janesville; St. Joseph Catholic School, Marion; Easton Valley Elementary, Miles; Nashua-Plainfield Elementary School, Nashua; New Hampton Middle School, New Hampton; Norway Elementary, Norway; Osage Middle School, Osage; De Sales School, Ossian; Postville High School, Postville; Riceville Community School, Riceville; Rolling Green Elementary, Urbandale; Sacred Heart School, Waterloo; St. Edward Catholic School, Waterloo; Blessed Sacrament School, Waterloo; Kittrell Early Childhood Center, Waterloo; Southeast Elementary, Waverly; West Cedar Elementary, Waverly; and St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Waverly.

SSNHA is currently working to raise funds for the 2014-2015 school year. Click here to learn more about the program or donate to support the SSNHA Education Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact Angi Reid, Education & Interpretation Manager at (319) 234-4567 or areid@silosandsmokestacks.org.

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west. Through a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA interprets farm life, agribusiness and rural communities – past and present.

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