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Farmers Insurance announces national competition to award five teachers grants of up to $100,000 to transform their schools and communities.

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The Dream Big Challenge is Part of the Insurer’s “Thank A Million Teachers” Project

The Dream Big Challenge was unveiled at a special event featuring the ‘M.I.T. 5,’ local students who achieved their dream of attending a top university thanks to visionary educators.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 6, 2014) – Farmers Insurance, along with the “M.I.T. 5” - five local high school students who will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) this fall thanks to the encouragement and support of strong, visionary teachers at Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley – today announced the launch a national competition, the “Dream Big Challenge” that will award five outstanding teachers with grants of up to $100,000 each, for a total of $500,000, to profoundly transform their schools and communities.

“Farmers Insurance believes in education and the transformative role teachers play in our communities,” said Charles Browning, Head of Sponsorships and Corporate Giving at Farmers Insurance.  “With the launch of our Dream Big Challenge, we want to invite teachers to envision projects that will truly transform education, not only in their classrooms, but their entire school and beyond.

“When we launched our Thank A Million Teachers project at the end of December, we set a goal of engaging America in this effort to thank our nation’s teachers and to provide teachers with a way to fund their innovative local projects.  This expansion of our program gives Farmers the opportunity to support leading-edge teacher projects that can positively impact education across the country,” Browning added.

The unique teacher contest was unveiled in conjunction with five local high school students – Raymundo Cano, GiMin Choi, Andrew Koh, William Lopez-Cordero, and Kevin Escobar Rodriguez – who will be attending M.I.T. together beginning this fall.  During the special ceremony, the five high school seniors publicly thanked several of their teachers for helping to make their big dreams come true.

As part of the national Dream Big Challenge, teachers will be invited to submit comprehensive proposals describing their visionary program, implementation plans and timelines, expected outcomes and a detailed budget.  Complete rules and guidelines, as well as downloadable forms are available at www.thankamillionteachers.com.

Since the launch of the Thank A Million Teachers program in late December, more than 500,000 teacher thank yous have been received, putting the national effort far ahead of its stated goal of thanking one million teachers in 2014.

Farmers announced the launch of the Thank A Million Teachers program in late December at a special event featuring Jack Black, who thanked his former teacher Debbie Devine, who he credited with saving his life.  Several days later, Farmers brought additional attention to its campaign to thank educators across America with its Thank A Million Teachers New Year’s Day float in the Tournament of Roses parade.

The ThankAMillionTeachers.com website is continuously accepting the public’s thank you’s and posts a live tally of the number of thank yous received so far.  It is also the place where teachers can submit their grant proposals for the next round of voting.  Proposals for the next round of $2,500 grants are being accepted in May and June for public voting in July.