TREE’s mission is to strengthen schools and communities by developing a strengths–based, poverty-, trauma-, and equity-informed approach that will fortify rural school environments and lead to healthier and more successful outcomes for all students.


TREE (Transforming Rural Experience in Education) is a new initiative of the CCLC. We seek to develop a model for transforming schools in rural communities like ours, to better support the children and families who live here.

TREE was inspired by Turnaround for Children, a nonprofit organization that partners with the lowest performing, high-poverty urban schools to address the obstacles to teaching and learning that stem from poverty. We asked ourselves, how can we learn from their work, and build more support for schools and families who are struggling here in rural areas?

We are ready to work closely with administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members so that –  

Instead of asking children to beat the odds, we can use this knowledge to change the odds for many children.
— Pamela Cantor, M.D., President and CEO, Turnaround for Children