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Our Community, Our Responsibility, Our Future

A Youth Ecommerce Entrepreneurship Model Project


TO:         Trent Clark
                Monsanto Fund
                1853 Highway 34
                PO Box 816

                Soda Springs, ID 83276-0816


FROM: Dr. Glay Homer, Superintendent

                Bear Lake School District #33

                39 Fielding

                Paris, Idaho,

                (208) 945-2891 – Phone

                (208) 945 -       - Fax

                homerglay@yahoo.com or bearlakeschooldistrict@yahoo.com

                Ms. Dorothy Crane, Chief Fiscal Officer



Organization Mission


The population is dwindling in rural SE Idaho by 2-3% per year. Over the past two years the Bear Lake School District laid off 20 teachers who then left the area with their families. Dropping FTE numbers for district schools shows a serious economic decline in Bear Lake County and the region. As youth graduate they are often unable to find jobs locally and must migrate to urban centers. The following youth entrepreneurship grant, submitted by the Bear Lake School District, will create a replicable community model for retaining youth by teaching them how to use the Internet for entrepreneurship and Ecommerce. Youth will identify potential solutions and share them with their communities on the web.


In preparation for this project, funded separately by the District a full day inservice workshop for all Bear Lake District educators will be presented in late September by Frank Odasz, president of Lone Eagle Consulting, to include addressing project opportunities using the existing online curriculum “Rural Ecommerce and Telework Strategies” http://lone-eagles.com/eguide.htm in conjunction with two existing online graduate courses for educators ( http://lone-eagles.com/teachercreated.htm)  While this grant is submitted primarily on behalf of the Bear Lake School District, the budget includes additional options to include Caribou County communities such as Soda Springs and Grace.



Over the past year and a half the Montpelier Ecommerce Project (http://lone-eagles.com/montpelier-story.htm) has involved citizens of all ages in learning how the Internet can be used for entry-level Ecommerce by anyone with minimal training and minimal monetary investment. The Clover Creek Emall now has dozens of crafters collaboratively marketing their goods via http://www.clovercreekmall.com  A new community site with collaborative tools has just been posted at http://www.clovercreekmall.com/community/  Online photo slideshows, to be added soon, will demonstrate a digital storytelling method for widespread sharing local Ecommerce success stories. This project will partner with an existing ongoing project.


A USDA grant through the Rural Development Council in partnership with the Idaho State University Special Programs Office and Lone Eagle Consulting is supporting the creation of a collection of Rural Idaho Ecommerce success stories for statewide distribution.   (The growing listing is at http://lone-eagles.com/idaho-E-successes.htm )


Requested is $5,000 for a six month project whereby youth will research ecommerce issues and opportunities that would allow them to remain in their communities and to post on the web their findings and resources to benefit all Idahoan communities. Online photo slideshows of local Ecommerce success stories will be included. Details follow: 


Youth, guided by their teachers, in partnership with their communities will:


Build their capacity to use the Internet as a mechanism to research, harness and disseminate information on issues which affect their communities to effectively provide youth the capacity to influence policy which affects them and their community.


Hold Student Competitions to Gather and Present the Best Relevant Content via the Web to benefit local citizens by raising awareness of what’s possible and helping develop specific knowledge access skills. Students will address the question “Given Internet access, what’s the best a rural community can learn to do for itself to survive economically?”
Competition models and process details: http://lone-eagles.com/capacity.htm


Collect and present information on their communities via the web related to sustainability of the community and future community learning needs and solutions.  Example: Ecommerce Startup Training Resources http://lone-eagles.com/entrelinks.htm


Create a low-cost, replicable community content model using new collaborative tools such as interactive photo galleries, interactive newsletters, resource web tours, and online conferencing. The Montpelier working prototype is at http://www.clovercreekmall.com/community/


Here’s an example from Koyukuk, Alaska of community web pages created by fourth graders; http://kyu.yksd.com  (click on "the village of Koyukuk" on the left) to see their community pages. Note the language audio links also created by students.


Establish a voice in steering the future directions of their communities.


Learn to use Ebay, which averages $60 million exchanged daily. Over 150,000 people work for themselves using Ebay.  These entry-level Ecommerce skills represent the best place to start as a proven strategy for motivating most people who try Ebay.


Conduct community Ecommerce awareness events showcasing what’s possible while showcasing local skills for web authoring, digital art, digital music, and digital photography. Examples: The Bootstrap Academy http://lone-eagles.com/academy.htm





The budget is attached as Appendix A along with a copy of the IRS 501 (c) (3) status.





(How do you plan to assess whether or not the project or event has met its goals?)


A functional community network will result which can be judged by the quality and quantity of relevant content. The number of participants and the number of co-sponsoring local community organizations will also be recommended measures of success.





(We would like to know what efforts would be taken to secure recognition for the grant. What type of possibilities exist for publicity?)


This project will be included in publicity associated with the ongoing Montpelier Ecommerce Project referenced above.  Local newspaper stories and advertisements announcing the grant, the events, and the final outcomes will be submitted to the local newspapers and to the Idaho Rural partnership newsletter.  Success will become a part of all Idaho presentations made by Lone eagle Consulting.  Monsanto will be listed on the community website as a so-sponsor.  Additional publicity will be through presentations by Lone Eagle Consulting for Australian and Canadian rural community networking projects.

History of Monsanto Support


(Has Monsanto Fund contributed to this organization in past years? When and how much was contributed?)


Monsanto has contributed to the Bear Lake School District several times in the past.  They contributed $2,500 to the Georgetown Elementary for books; sent teachers to the National Science Conference several times, which included airfare, rooms, registrations and expenses; and, various other projects throughout years.  They have been very generous to the school.


Volunteer Support


(Detail opportunities to involve Monsanto employees as volunteers.)


A number of Monsanto employees live in the Bear Lake School District’s area.  Knowing that Monsanto uses a high level of computer applications, we assume that many of the employees could assist in the events by offering their skills to mentor youth.  They, their spouses, and their children could support the entire project by actively participating in events and developing content to be put on the website.  Employees could be a powerful force in ensuring successful outcomes of the project.


Appendix A



Budget for the Bear Lake School District:


Teacher Stipends; 2 x $500                                                                     $1,000

Digital Camera for digital storytelling                                                             600

Web authoring software and art tablet                                                           500

Community event expenses with                                                                1,000

student cash awards for multiple
community content competitions                                                                        

A community collaboration website                                                               500

with appropriate tools for one year                                                              

A full day Web-raising workshop                                                              1,400

presented by Lone Eagle Consulting
to create and post content and
celebrate local talents.                                                                                       



Total                                                                                                      $5,000



Options for Participation by Soda Springs and Other Communities


Other communities could participate in the web-raising workshops referenced above. Additional costs per community would be $3,600 each as shown below.


Teacher Stipends; 2 x $500                                                                     $1,000

Digital Camera for digital storytelling                                                             600

Web authoring software and art tablet                                                           500

Community event expenses with                                                                1,000

student cash awards for multiple
community content competitions

A community collaboration website                                                               500

with appropriate tools for one year



Total                                                                                                      $3,600



* See attached organization’s budget