Nation Embraces Thank A Million Teachers Initiative With More Than 240,000 Teachers Already Thanked; Far Ahead Of Goal In Addition to Thanking Teachers, America Invited to Vote on Wide Range of Worthy Teacher Grant Proposals on www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com

LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With more than 240,000 teachers across the United States already recognized since the "Thank A Million Teachers" campaign was launched just a few short weeks ago, Farmers Insurance is far ahead of its stated goal to Thank a Million Teachers in 2014, the insurer announced today.

As part of the "Thank A Million Teachers" initiative, Farmers has been urging America to thank teachers, present and past, for the positive impact they have had in communities across the nation.  It has also invited teachers to submit proposals for $2,500 grants on the www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com website.  During March, Farmers is inviting the public to vote on the proposals at the www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com website, with 30 winners to be announced in April.  In all, Farmers has committed to donating $1 million to teachers and education programs in 2014.

During the first round of proposal submissions, in January and February, more than 1,270 teachers from communities large and small submitted proposals.

"Farmers is elated at America's response to our Thank A Million Teachers program that provides the public an easy and unique way to thank our nation's teachers," said Charles Browning, Head of Sponsorships and Corporate Giving at Farmers Insurance.  "We are also extremely impressed by the quality of the proposals from educators across the United States that have come in. It is clear that our teachers are passionate about their profession."

People across the country are invited to go to www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com to cast their votes for their favorite proposals. Voting will continue through March 31.  The public is invited to vote for as many proposals as they'd like, although they can vote for the same proposal only once per day.

The teacher proposals received so far have represented a wide range of innovative ideas, including: the urgent need for increased use of technology in the classroom; equipment for science and after school projects; resources for special education programs; books for improved reading programs and libraries; and meal programs and nutrition education for students in underserved areas. (See attached for examples).

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 you's 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.

About Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.

The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders. Farmers Group, Inc., along with its subsidiaries, manages the non-claims insurance operations of the Farmers Exchanges. Farmers Group, Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group. For more information about Farmers, visit its Website at www.farmers.com or at www.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.

What's on Teachers' Wish List as Part of Thank A Million Teachers Grant Program

Technology:
Ms. Randi Rosenberg of P.S. 126 in Bronx (NY) would like to motivate her students, many of whom live in shelters or come from single parent homes, to become better readers through the use of iPads.

Ms. Patsy Whiteford of Hutchinson (KS) High School would help her students "Meet 100 Heroes" by using new tablets, which would allow the students to research different cultures and create informative videos about that culture's hero.

Ms. Cassie Romero of Honolulu (HI) Kamehameha-Maui High School wants to acquire a classroom voice amplifier to increase her students' confidence when presenting in front of class and to introduce new technology to students.

Ms. Sarah Holland of Guadalupe (CA) Buren Elementary School has noticed most of her students do not have regular access to technology to help them learn.  She'd like to get some tablets to provide her students with an essential technology experience, increase small group instruction and provide individually tailored curriculum.

Science Equipment and After School Projects:
At Global Learning Charter Public School in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Ms. Diana Cost, a biology teacher, would purchase laboratory equipment to prepare her students for college and careers by training them in the use of real world laboratory technology.

Mr. Douglas Ferguson of Martin Sortun Elementary in Kent (WA) want to build the STEM Academy of the Future with the purchase of robotics kits, iPad Minis, 3D Printer Spool, Digital Microscope Adapters and more.

Mr. Raven Skydancer of Komachin Middle School Lacey (WA) would help his students design, engineer and build their own remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to gain real world understanding and experience in the fields of marine science and engineering.

Dr. Susan Pritchard of Washington Middle School in La Habra (CA) would "Spark Student Imagination with 3-D Printing" in her engineering classes, giving them hands on experience at developing and seeing and holding their ideas in their hands.

Mrs. Kaaryn LiCalsi of E.R. Dickson Elementary School in Mobile (AL) wants to improve school-wide learning in the areas of comprehension, literacy, computer graphics and math by updating the audio, lighting and editing equipment in the school's Tiger TV Studio.          

Special Education Support:
Ms. Vernelly Jean MacIntosh, a special education teacher at Saturn Street Elementary, a Title I school in Los Angeles, wants to give her students a better chance to achieve their educational goals through her "Laptops for Learning Disabilities" proposal.

Mr. Leon Osteyee of National City (CA) Kimball Elementary School is the only adapted physical education teacher in his district.  He knows his students need and love physical education.  As an experienced instructor, he also knows that physical education improves his students' motor skills and helps them do better academically.  He'd like to purchase the special equipment he needs to help his students thrive.

Ms. Stephanie Rosenbaum a special education teacher at Jungman Elementary School in Chicago (IL) would use the grant to purchase a Smart Board interactive whiteboard to improve the level of educational interaction for her students.

Books and Supplies:
At Reseda (CA) High School, English Language Development Teacher Mrs. Marilu Mora would use the grant money to purchase books for students in their native languages through her "Cultural Affirmation Through Reading" proposal.

Mrs. Amber Stout of Jones Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas wants to "Build a Library, Build a Life" by purchasing more books for her highly successful but underfunded Home Library Project, which allows her underprivileged students to take books home to keep and to pass on to their younger siblings.

Mrs. Jennifer McDougall of Oscoda (MI) Area High School would continue to foster a love of reading through her highly-successful, but unfunded, personally-created and run classroom library.

Meal Programs and Nutrition Education:
Mrs. Allison Vanek's "Nutrition Education for Inner City Students" proposal would help students at Suder Montessori Magnet School in Chicago learn about proper nutrition through the purchase of fruit trees for the school's Peace Garden and to begin a kitchen classroom for the entire school.

With 81% of her students qualifying for free and reduced lunches, Ms. Caren Pitsch of Alderwood Elementary in Bellingham (WA) would like to enroll her school in the "Blessings In A Backpack" program, which would help provide food each weekend to help keep students fed until school on Monday.

Mrs. Janet Major's "Grab and Go Breakfast!" proposal would keep the students at her Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin, Illinois more attentive through the purchase of equipment and supplies to begin a sustainable school breakfast program.

For access to these and other teachers and their stories, please contact:

Luis Sahagun
(323) 932-4753
luis.sahagun@farmersinsurance.com

Trent Frager
(323) 932-3976
trent.frager@farmersinsurance.com

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SOURCE Farmers Insurance



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