Rural equity project turns focus to Sleepy Eye

SLEEPY EYE — An initiative aimed at promoting inclusivity in rural communities will expand into Sleepy Eye this year.

The Rural Equity Learning Community — a partnership between nonprofit Region Nine Area Inc., Greater Mankato Diversity Council and the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality — received a $200,000 grant this week from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota for the project.

The groups will work with Sleepy Eye stakeholders for one year before turning the focus to another community the following year.

Corree Stamschror, Region Nine communications specialist, said the expansion adds to the work the group did with five other communities in recent years. Sleepy Eye Public Schools and the city’s economic development administration will help shape the project to its needs this time around.

“The program is designed in a way that Sleepy Eye will choose their initiative and pilot it over the next year,” she said.

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