First 30 Winners of $2,500 Grants as Part of Thank A Million Teachers Program
America Cast More Than 650,000 Votes for Teacher Proposals Submitted from Across the Nation
Los Angeles, Calif. (April 8, 2014) – Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s largest multiline insurers, announced the first 30 winners of its “Thank A Million Teachers” program, a national initiative through which Farmers is inviting America to offer a heartfelt thanks to teachers, present and past, for the positive impact they have had in communities across the nation. To date, more than 350,000 thank yous have been tallied on the www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com website. As part of the national program, Farmers invited teachers to submit proposals for $2,500 grants. During March, the public voted on nearly 1,300 submitted proposals with the top six vote-getters in five regions selected as winners. In all, Farmers has committed to donating $1 million to teachers and education programs in 2014.
“These winning teachers are outstanding examples of the type of creativity and dedication found in classrooms across America and we congratulate our first group of winners,” said Randy Rice, National Manager of Education Programs for Farmers Insurance. “We know these grants will have a major impact in schools throughout the country and we want to remind teachers that they can continue to submit proposals through the end of October as we will have additional opportunities for them to win grants.”
Among the grant winners:
- Stephanie Cohen of Granada Elementary School in Alhambra, Calif., whose students include a number of deaf and learning disabled students. She will use her grant to host performing arts workshops on disability awareness and promote storytelling, visual imagery and utilize American Sign Language to develop skits and other creative learning opportunities for her students;
- Moore, Okla., teacher Dee Ann Moran with a classroom full of old and wobbly desks and chairs at Winding Creek Elementary School needs new furniture. Due to tight budgets and last year’s devastating tornado, funds to replace the cracked furniture have not been available. She plans to use her grant to provide her students with furniture that will enable them to focus on learning, not on pinching and uncomfortable desks and chairs;
- Fiske Elementary School teacher Katie Friedl in Chicago, Ill., dreams of providing her students with as many hands-on science experiments as she can get her hands on While they are currently studying frogs, she plans to expand learning about the life cycle of living things by acquiring a chicken incubation system and other science equipment to enable more interactive learning among her students;
- Samantha Majors, who teaches at Van Buren Elementary School in Van Buren, Mo., wants to increase access to technology to her rural students. With her grant, she will purchase additional computers and other technology to help build language and writing skills and introduce new ways of learning through advanced technology;
- Austin, Tex.-based teacher Veronica Twining at Fulmore Middle School remembers her days as a student and recalls the importance of having a safe and comfortable space to focus on learning. With her grant she will purchase much needed school supplies and create a study corner that will be an inviting study sanctuary.
Below is the complete list of winners (note to editors, details of the winning proposals and access to the winning are available by contacting Farmers Media Relations representatives listed above):
|Name of Teacher||School||City, State|
|Mark||Adams||Ironwood HS||Glendale, Ariz.|
|Sandy||Andrus||Tyhee Elementary||Pocatello, Idaho|
|Cindy||Bateman||Plymouth Elementary||Taylorsville, Utah|
|Elizabeth||Betts||North Harrison R-III School||Bethany, Mo.|
|Katie||Buffum||San Marcos Middle School||San Marcos, Calif.|
|Stephanie||Cohen||Granada Elementary||Alhambra, Calif.|
|Luis||Coronel||School of Business & Tourism||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|Sheryl||Depp||Crews Lake Middle School||Spring Hill, Fla.|
|Wade||Dues||Vero Beach HS||Vero Beach, Fla.|
|Lindsey||Elliott||Thompson Crossing Elementary||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|Rebecca||Freimann||Felix Festa Middle School||West Nyack, N.Y.|
|Katie||Friedl||Fiske Elementary||Chicago, Ill.|
|Jennifer||Hodges||Claremont Elementary||Claremore, Okla.|
|Melissa||Hunt||I.T. Stoddard Elementary||Blackfoot, Idaho|
|Christie||Kranjcec||Dayton Elementary||Dayton, Nev.|
|Geralyn||Lewis||Buford Elementary||Lennox, Calif.|
|Amanda||Maddox||Newman Elementary||Billings, Mont.|
|Samantha||Majors||Van Buren Elementary||
Van Buren, Mo.
|Angie||Moehlmann||Sappington Elementary||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Jennifer||Moore||Gallatin HS||Gallatin, Tenn.|
|Dee Ann||Moran||Winding Creek Elementary||Moore, Okla|
|Carla||Perez||James F. Murray Elementary||
Jersey City, N.J.
|Veronica||Twining||Fulmore Middle School||
|Allison||Vanek||Suder Montessori||Chicago, Ill.|
|Karen||Wietholter||Newberry Academy||Chicago, Ill.|
Farmers Insurance is working in partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom.org, a national non-profit, to help teachers acquire the supplies and equipment they have requested in their proposals.
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 are being accepted in March and April for public voting in May.