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Networking Across Boundaries of Place, Culture, and Role: A Report for the Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network Funded by the Dewitt-Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation

A four-year evaluation of the Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network established in 1992 at Middlebury College with grant funding from the DeWitt-Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation. BLRTN seeks to accomplish two goals: 1) invigorating teaching of English at rural middle and high schools through teacher participation in a rigorous literature and writing summer program and 2) creating a professional education network of these teachers connected through the BreadNet online system. This report documents describes the experiences of the Bread Loaf ‘Fellows’ both during the summer program and back at their home schools, where the teachers worked to implement what they had learned. The researchers also examined how teachers, students, and school administrators adapted to using the BreadNet system. The report concludes with two case studies of the experiences of individual Bread Loaf Fellows and a discussion of overall findings.