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Making a difference in education: Six ways to contribute to schools in your community

Family Features | 4/1/2019, 12:11 p.m.
In communities across the country, many cities and towns revolve around their local school districts.

Encourage participation

Finding ways to help schools, students and teachers can only go so far with limited assistance from community members. Reach out to others you think may be interested in lending their time and talents, and use social media and other avenues to spread awareness about upcoming events or information you believe need to be amplified.

Schools typically play a large role in community settings, but they’re still almost always in need of help from those who are willing to give it. Giving your time and providing assistance where possible can make a positive impact where it’s oftentimes needed most.

The Importance of STEM Education

One of the most important parts of the education process is preparing students to take on the “real world.” As technology evolves and changes, STEM learning is increasingly becoming a foundation for future life skills.

There are a number of reasons STEM is truly valuable to today’s students, including:

• STEM is where jobs are headed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2026 are populated 100 percent by jobs that fall into STEM categories.

• STEM is innovative. Skilled employees in STEM fields are driving trends, which in turn creates additional jobs while boosting the economy.

• STEM is a stepping stone. The list of careers that fall under STEM categories continues expanding. In addition to some of the more apparent careers and jobs, STEM learning can provide experience applicable to many other fields.

• STEM is making a difference. Driving social change through scientific research and technological advancements means STEM is at the forefront of making positive impacts in areas like medicine and engineering.

Funding for local schools is a key component in the STEM learning process. To help advance educational opportunities, consider nominating your local school district for grants like those available from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, which includes $10,000 and $25,000 grants to fund improvements ranging from greenhouses to laboratory equipment to makerspaces.