ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec 09, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer recently announced that the Little Crow Telemedia Network headquartered in Hutchinson, Minn., has been selected to receive a $117,820 grant to expand its distance learning network.
The grant will be used to place mobile carts equipped with video conferencing technology at 14 public school sites and the hub site at Little Crow.
“This type of technology is urgently needed in rural schools,” Landkamer said. “No matter where you live, you should have access to quality educational opportunities. Rural students deserve the same educational opportunities as metropolitan-area students. These funds make that happen.”
Video connections to a multitude of colleges and universities will offer students new learning opportunities in the areas of math, science, literacy and cultural programs. Students also will have opportunities to take video field trips to Minnesota assets like the Minnesota Zoo, Minnesota Historical Society, The Hennepin Theatre and the Cowles Dance Center.
Teachers will use the program to access professional development classes and collaborate with colleagues. In addition, the grant will result in increased opportunities for advanced education classes for adults such as financing, real estate licensing and nursing.
“the Little Crow Media Telemedia Network looks forward to implementing this grant for our member schools,” said Pete Royer, Little Crow Media Director. “This grant will extend our programming to elementary schools and create even more educational opportunities in the region.”
The grant comes from Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program, which provides funding for expanded educational opportunities and increases access to quality healthcare in rural and remote areas.
The Little Crow Telemedia Network grant was one of 100 grants announced on nationally totaling over $30 million in 34 states. Since 2009, over $5 million DLT grants have been awarded throughout rural Minnesota
For more information on the DLT program and other USDA Rural Development programs, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/MNHome.html. You can also call the Rural Development office in Willmar at (320) 235-3540, ext. 4.