By Jon King /

A Livingston County school district has been selected by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to develop new opportunities for students in grades 6-12 to explore education professions.

$10,000 grants have been provided to 44 districts through the < ahref=",4615,7-140--475817--,00.html">Future Proud Michigan Explore program, which is designed to facilitate recruitment to address short-term school vacancies and long-term staffing needs in the state. Among the districts receiving the funds are Hartland Consolidated Schools, as well as Lake Fenton Community Schools.

State education officials say the money will be used to “build implementation teams, provide student engagement activities, and plan for hands-on learning through Explore courses” over the next two school years. MDE will provide participating school districts with flexible models for implementation, curricular resources, and free professional development for educators.

Hartland Superintendent Chuck Hughes told WHMI that the grant will support the district's Cadet Teaching program. "As it has become harder and harder to motivate individuals to pursue a teaching career we felt it imperative to begin our own early entry into the field program. We are excited to have the opportunity to engage the teachers of the future sooner rather than later."