Remote rural schools need more hands-on help

CAMPO, Colo. — On the long drive south, as the land on the horizon turned from mottled green to dusty brown, the college professor’s Subaru carried four cartons of doughnuts, two bags of fresh produce and a bin of children’s books.

All of it was destined for rural schools. It would be a drive of nearly four hours from the outskirts of Denver to a sparsely populated corner of Colorado where the flat skyline bleeds into Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas. It’s a trip that Robert Mitchell has been making once a week for five years, arriving on a Monday, sleeping over in the locally owned, $55-a-night Starlite Motel in Springfield, then turning the car north to return home two days later to his wife and son.

Unless you’ve been to Campo, and met the people in this town of 103 residents, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would endure that drive.

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