The U.S. Department of Agriculture will fund 81 Distance Learning and Telemedicine projects in 32 states. These projects will help connect rural communities with medical and educational experts in other parts of the country, increasing access to health care, substance misuse treatment and advanced educational opportunities.

In Maine, five organizations have been selected to receive Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants totaling of $1,644,596, including Regional School Unit 13, in Rockland, which has been selected to receive a total of $327,466.

Rural Development funds will be used to purchase video-telepresence equipment that will enable real-time distance learning interactions among Regional School Unit 13, the Chewonki Foundation, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Catawba Indian Nation, the Monhegan Island School and AOS 93 to provide rural students, educators and adult learners with access to science, technology, engineering, art and math classes i.e., Advanced Placement courses and dual-enrollment college classes, vocational training, professional development and continuing education courses.