$943,163 in Distance Learning to Woodson, Franklin, Neosho, and Allen County, Kansas​​

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen today announced that USDA is investing $943,163 to provide science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, (STEM) classes to students in rural areas.  The Woodson School District’s allotment of the grant was for $370,724, which includes Chromebooks, an Anatomage Table, Robotics’ Lab, and Virtual Reality Laptops.

“Distance learning provides more educational resources to difficult to reach populations,” Hinrichsen said. “This project enhances the focus on rural education. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural America in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America prospers, all of America prospers.”

This Rural Development investment will be used to extend science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, (STEM) classes to underserved areas of Allen and Woodson Counties in rural Southeast Kansas. It will also enable Neosho County Community College to create new STEM distance learning capabilities in Chanute and Ottawa, Kans. to serve surrounding rural areas including Franklin County, Kans. and Neosho County, Kans. schools especially with increased allied health courses needed to improve residents' health and to decrease out-migration.

Today’s announcement is in conjunction with a larger announcement made by USDA, where it is investing $72 million in 40 states through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program  These investments will benefit more than 12 million rural residents.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.  For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ks or call (785) 271-2700.