Middlebury

April 22, 1997

$2.4 Million Grant Boosts Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network
at Middlebury College

Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English has received
a $2.4 million grant from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund
to expand the Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network, a professional
development program designed to improve instruction in rural classrooms
in low-income communities in eight states.

Each summer for the next four years, up to 45 teachers from Alaska,
Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina,
and Vermont will be offered graduate fellowships to study literature,
the teaching of writing, creative writing, and theater arts for
six weeks at the Bread Loaf School at Middlebury College. Teachers
who participate in the summer program will be invited to apply
for a second and third summer at any Bread Loaf campus: Middlebury
College, VT; Lincoln College, University of Oxford (UK); Native
American Preparatory School, Rowe, NM. They, along with their
schools' principals and students, will also be linked to BreadNet--a
nationally recognized telecommunications network--and receive
a stipend to support collaborative projects and research in their
schools and communities.

The new grant builds on an initial $2.7 million the Fund awarded
in 1993 to help the Bread Loaf School establish the Rural Teacher
Network, which provides rural teachers access to high-quality
professional development opportunities and helps them overcome
their isolation from each other and from educational and cultural
centers. Grant funds were also used for a national conference
to identify the best ways to improve education for children and
young people in rural schools, particularly through small-scale
networks.

Overall, the next phase of the program is expected to reach 1,500
outstanding rural teachers through the Bread Loaf summer programs,
as well as workshops, seminars, school partnerships, and links
with local and regional networks.

By making available opportunities for outstanding teachers, the
Bread Loaf School of English will continue to play a significant
role in the national goal of improving American education and
helping keep America's best teachers in the classroom.

The mission of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund is to foster
fundamental improvement of the quality of educational and career
development opportunities for all school-age youth, and to increase
access to these improved services for young people in low-income
communities.