Lufkin, TX: The T.L.L. Temple Foundation (TLLTF) has awarded a five-year $3,00,000 grant to Partners for Rural Impact (PRI) to bring the cradle-to-career efforts they successfully implemented in rural Appalachia to East Texas. Their first national expansion, PRI will replicate their model in Diboll and Pineland (West Sabine ISD), establishing a regional intermediary to support rural communities to focus upon critical milestones that can help young people succeed and communities thrive.
After visiting the Diboll and Pineland communities numerous times during a planning phase funded by TLLTF, PRI engaged community members to identify areas of focus necessary to ensure the youth and community thrive. PRI’s work will be guided by the scope of the cradle-to-career student success indicators and will track specific student outcomes that are agreed upon by community partners. An annual community report will share progress on student indicators including kindergarten readiness, 3rd-grade literacy, 8th-grade numeracy, college and career readiness, postsecondary attainment, and safe & healthy support indicators.
These annual report cards will guide the communities’ initiatives on their journey to identify and remove barriers to student success and wellbeing. This work is based on the belief that real change is rooted in community transformation. By bringing together people from across a community and keeping equitable student results at the center of the work, systems can be transformed to achieve better outcomes for children and families commensurate with the scale of the challenge.
According to Wynn Rosser, TLLTF’s president and CEO, “The cradle-to-career focus is highly aligned with TLLTF’s education priorities of improving early grades’ reading and math outcomes and to helping more young East Texans attain a postsecondary credential with labor market value.” PRI will establish an East Texas office to provide technical assistance and backbone support to the communities of Diboll and Pineland.
Launching this regional intermediary work in Diboll and Pineland will lay the groundwork for PRI’s long-term investment and enduring presence in East Texas. By proposing to establish itself as “Partners for Rural Impact-East Texas,” they will eventually expand to include other rural East Texas communities as well as focus on building the local capacity of the education sector by hiring local people for PRI-East Texas.
PRI’s plan for East Texas was developed with significant input from community members and leaders in Diboll and Pineland. PRI-East Texas will bring high-impact programs to the region and provide targeted support to build capacity according to community needs. With PRI’s support, the West Sabine and Diboll school districts have already successfully competed for U.S. Department of Education grants totaling $1,000,000 over three years.
“We are honored to continue our work with the people of Diboll and Pineland to support their efforts to build a community in East Texas where all young people can thrive and achieve success. Thanks to the Temple Foundation, the partnership will combine a long-term investment which is necessary for sustainable community development,” said Dreama Gentry, President, and CEO of Partners for Rural Impact.
About T.L.L. Temple Foundation: The T.L.L. Temple Foundation works alongside rural communities to build a thriving East Texas and to alleviate poverty, creating access and opportunities for all. Since its founding in 1962 by Mrs. Georgie Temple Munz, the T.L.L. Temple Foundation has invested more than $500 million primarily to strengthen communities in rural East Texas. For more information about the foundation, visit www.tlltemple.foundation.
About Partners for Rural Impact: Partners for Rural Impact accelerates educational outcomes for rural youth across America by building the capacity of residents and local leaders to develop, implement and sustain place-based solutions to the challenges they face. We also promote investment in rural places by lifting up shared rural priorities and aligning rural, urban, and suburban organizations around a cradle-to-career agenda for all children. For more information, visit https://partnersrural.org/.