State Farm good neighbor to schools
Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider (left) gratefully accepts $20,000 from (l to r) State Farm Insurance’s Agency Vice President Ken Heidrich, Public Affairs Specialist Hilary Baird and local agents Abir Pulskamp and Jeremy Scheidle, that will help county schools with student service learning projects.
Reider accepted the donation from State Farm's Agency Vice President Ken Heidrich, Public Affairs Specialist Hilary Baird and local agents Abir Pulskamp and Jeremy Scheidle.
It came during a monthly meeting for Kern County public school superintendents at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel in Bakersfield.
While presenting the check, Baird explained that the funding comes from the State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Program.
"Through the Good Neighbor Citizenship Program, State Farm Insurance Company and its Foundation are committed to provide funds to raise the levels of student achievement and to build strong communities," Baird told the superintendents.
Heidrich explained that State Farm's efforts are part of a nationwide effort dedicated to education.
"State Farm supports service learning on the national level," Heidrich said. "It helps students combine curriculum with real life issues in the community. Our donation of $20,000 is available for service learning projects in Kern County schools to apply to community issues identified by students."
Reider thanked the State Farm representatives for the generous donation and their commitment to education.
"State Farm demonstrates again how important the link is between education and local businesses," Reider said. "There are many things we would not be able to accomplish in the classroom -- experiences that our students deserve to further their education -- were it not for the philanthropic kindness and dedication to scholarly effort displayed by State Farm today."
Following the check presentation, Kern County Superintendent of Schools' School-Community Partnerships Director Merry McCalley explained how the donation will be used.
"Good Neighbor Service Learning mini-grants will be awarded to teachers for the purpose of integrating a service component into the academic learning activities of the students in their classrooms," McCalley said. "Individual teachers may apply for grants ranging from $100-$1,000."
Examples of service learning projects might include:
- High school biology students helping Department of Fish and Game monitor the Kern River watershed
- Physical education students researching what exercise the body needs by helping a local business build a nine station par exercise course
- Students working on improving their reading, vocabulary and fluency skills by reading to patients at a local convalescent hospital
- Elementary grade students help the Tree Foundation plant trees then produce a classroom puppet show on the environmental benefits of trees.
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