The Foundation for Rural Service, FRS as it is affectionately known in the NTCA community, recently named the recipients of its 2017 grants in support of advancing quality of life and enabling economic development in rural America. The winning projects will help rural communities overcome challenges related to access to technology, improving educational offerings, combating opioid addiction and providing telemedicine and first response emergency services to rural areas. All of the projects are endorsed by rural broadband companies that are members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. FRS, our association’s foundation does an amazing job of recognizing and enabling projects that rural broadband providers bring to their communities and highlighting the culture of vision, service and innovation at the heart of rural America…and that is a direct quote from Jessica Golden, executive director of FRS.
The following institutions received grants:
Allegany Co. Community Opportunities and Rural Development (ACCORD) (Belmont, N.Y.)
Awarded $5,000 for a small business training program. Endorsed by Armstrong Telephone Co.
Barclay College, Teacher Education Department (Haviland, Kan.)
Awarded $1,600 to develop additional curriculum to enhance educational opportunities in Haviland school districts, where schools have operated on a four-day school week since 2010. Endorsed by Haviland Telephone Co.
Brown County Public Library (Mount Sterling, Ill.)
Awarded $5,000 for a technology upgrade for the library, which is the only location with free public use of computers and a public Wi-Fi hotspot in the high-poverty community.
Endorsed by Adams Telephone Co.
Hocking County Municipal Court Telecommunications Development (Logan, Ohio)
Awarded $5,000 to combat recidivism and relapses, exacerbated by the opioid crisis, by establishing a video system to allow defendants to remotely connect with officials, probation officers and counselors. As with many rural Appalachian communities struggling with the opioid crisis, Hocking County’s courts have been involved in many outreach projects to combat the problem. Transportation to probation and counseling appointments is a challenge due to a lack of a public bus service. Endorsed by Ohio Telecom Association.
Lake Francis Case Development Corp. (Chamberlain, S.D.)
Awarded $5,000 to purchase laptops and software to help residents apply for jobs online.
Endorsed by Midstate Communications.
Montrose Memorial Hospital (Montrose, Colo.)
Awarded $5,000 to implement a telehealth program that concentrates on follow-up assessments for patients following an illness or new medical diagnosis. Endorsed by Nucla-Naturita Telephone Co.
New Hope Academy, Inc. (Oil Springs, Ky.)
Awarded $4,000 to purchase computers for classroom usage in a high-poverty, Appalachian region of the state. Most students do not have computers at home and the shared lab is not sufficient for all students to have access. Endorsed by Mountain Telephone.
Pine Haven Elementary School (Jamestown, Tenn.)
Awarded $5,000 for Chromebooks and a cart for educational use of K-5 students.
Endorsed by Twin Lakes Telephone.
Powder River First Responders (Broadus, Mont.)
Awarded $5,000 to enhance a Cardiac Ready Community Project. A service area of over 4,000 square miles makes it difficult for the eight-member, all-volunteer team to get residents to and from the medical facility. The grant will help them implement hands only CPR and AED usage training for residents for free. Endorsed by Range Telephone Co.
Westfields Hospital and Clinic Foundation (New Richmond, Wis.)
Awarded $5,000 for laptops with webcams to facilitate mental health assessments in rural emergency rooms via a telemedicine crisis center. Endorsed by Baldwin LightStream; Lakeland Communications; Northwest Communications.
Yadkin Early College High School (Yadkinville, N.C.)
Awarded $4,400 for Google Expedition Kids virtual reality equipment that brings learning experiences and field trips to the classroom. The school is in a rural area with many low-income families and lacks funding for field trips. Endorsed by Yadtel.
FRS makes these grant awards each year to local efforts that really live within the spirit of the foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life in America by advancing an understanding of rural issues. These grants are made possible by the generous sponsorships of Bennet & Bennet, PLLC; Ericsson Inc; Rural Telephone Finance Corporation (RTFC); NISC; Toly Digital and Mapcom Systems.
A huge kudo to those who received the support and a big thanks to those who provided for it….