PFJH has been selected for a Rural LIFE grant.
What is Rural LIFE? In 2017, the Niswonger Foundation received funding from the U.S. Department of Education through the EIR program to implement the Rural Literacy Intervention Focused on Effectiveness (Rural LIFE) program. The Niswonger Foundation partnered with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (NCSU) to develop activities and supports for the program, and AnLar provides external evaluation. What differentiates this program from most others is the dual emphasis of adolescent literacy and personalized learning. In many (or most) personalized learning initiatives, the emphasis is on the technical equipment or technology-based delivery of traditional content. Our approach is to emphasize literacy skills in the middle school setting, with technology as one tool.
Here at PFJH, we have chosen to integrate Placed Based Learning as part of the Rural LIFE initiative to encourage literacy, community and authentic learning. By studying a placed-based lesson each week our diverse student body makes connections to this area and its history. So far this year students have enjoyed learning how Pigeon Forge got its name, and about Abrams Falls, The CCC contributions to the GSMNP, The Walker Sisters, The Tennessee Valley Authority, Douglas Dam, Chiaha, TN State Symbols, WWII and the Pearl Harbor memorial tree, Indigenous Peoples of the Smokies, John Sevier, Dolly Parton and Samuel Wear.