Acting Agriculture Secretary Conner today announced the selection of 78 grant recipients for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants totaling $22.3 million in 31 states.
“These grants connect rural communities to educational programs and medical services that bridge the miles between doctors and patients and provide classroom teaching at the touch of a button,” said Conner.
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program was created to improve access to education and medical services through the use of technology. Of the grants announced today, 38 will provide access to medical services and 40 will be used to improve educational opportunities. The grant funds will be awarded to the selected recipients contingent upon meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.
In Maine, a variety of education and healthcare projects include $267,341 for Maine Administrative School District 27 to purchase video conferencing equipment so schools can share academic and special education resources and expand adult learning activities. Another $399,817 will connect schools in Maine Administrative District 48 so they can share resources and access the Aroostook Mental Health Center for special needs students. Administrative District 21 will receive $378,661 to fund a TEC-NET project to provide students with an expanded curriculum, enhanced foreign language instruction and better Internet connectivity.
Eight projects in Texas and Oklahoma have been selected to receive DLTfunding. Texas’ Education Service Center Region 12 will receive $338,936 to expand distance learning for 30 additional sites in rural areas of central Texas and southern Oklahoma. Added courses include college preparatory and teacher training and certification opportunities. Northwestern Oklahoma State University will increase access to higher education courses in five rural counties with the help of a $256,390 grant. A grant of $246,410 will help Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Services develop a telemedicine network to provide radiology services and specialty care for small hospitals in an extremely rural part of the state. A complete list of grant recipients is available on the USDA Rural Development web site athttp://www.rurdev.usda.gov .
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested more than $76.8 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a localUSDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA web site athttp://www.rurdev.usda.gov .
Source: USDA Press Release