Rural Connections Blog

  • Children lined up in a school hallway

    Building Partnerships to Support Mental Health Needs in Diverse Rural Schools: The National Center for Rural School Mental Health

    Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 5 school-age youth experienced serious mental health issues. During the pandemic, these numbers grew, with emergency room visits for mental health issues increasing by 24 percent among children and 31 percent among adolescents. Given this rise in mental health problems, the U.S. Surgeon General released an advisory in December 2021, outlining ways to prevent and treat the mental health challenges facing youth. School-based prevention and intervention supports are part of this solution, but in rural schools, geographic isolation and limited resources make it difficult to access these services. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences-funded National Center for Rural School Mental Health (NCRSMH) is working to address this challenge.

  • The Ben Hill and Fitzgerald Community Network

    Welcome to the Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County Community Network

    Like many communities across the country, Ben Hill County is rich in history. The county in south central Georgia is home to one municipality, Fitzgerald. In 1895, Union Army Pension Attorney and newspaper editor Philander H. Fitzgerald founded Fitzgerald as a reconciliation community for Civil War veterans. Ben Hill County is home to several places listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has nine recreational parks.

  • School sign in scenic rural community

    Regional Comprehensive Centers

    The RCCs partner with state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide high-impact, customized, and responsive support to increase student achievement. The National Comprehensive Center develops and delivers high-quality universal capacity-building products and services addressing pressing national education needs. The Regional and National Centers are administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. The Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15CC)supports Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.

  • Fulton County Header Photo

    Introducing the Fulton County and South Fulton, Tennessee Community Network

    Community Networks are a collaboration among local leaders to address specific needs of a community. In this blog post, get to know the Fulton County Community Network, the only multi-state RPN Community Network. Fulton County is in the mid-south and known for its southern sweet tea culture. Visitors always say, “Man, you guys are just so friendly.” The people here have a strong sense of community and value the quality of life which boasts an abundance of scenic beauty, outdoor activities, good public education, and a low crime rate and cost of living.