Most people can easily recall that one special teacher who helped change their lives. In 2014, Farmers Insurance is working to show those teachers what an enormous impact they’ve had on their students and how much those students appreciate them.
Today, as part of their new Thank A Million Teachers Campaign, Farmers representatives visited Nettelhorst Elementary School to get CPS excited about thanking teachers.
“Teachers are often underappreciated, and we want them to know how much of a difference they’ve made in our lives,” said Randy Rice, Manager of Education Programs for Farmers. “That’s why Farmers is working with school districts across the country to thank a million teachers.”
For Melody Murphy, a 15-year veteran of CPS, the appreciation will not go unnoticed.
“I think the program is absolutely wonderful,” she said. “Corporations that acknowledge this career, teachers and education are great.”
In addition to the public show of gratitude, Farmers has also committed to donating $1 million to fund proposals created by current K-12 teachers. Teachers may submit proposals at thankamillionteachers.com and could receive up to $2,500 in funding – the approximate cost of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. Farmers will offer the grants in partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org and NBCT.
“We wanted to go beyond sentiment and do something to help our teachers monetarily,” said Rice. “Teachers who receive these grants can use the funds toward becoming national board certified, or for technology for their classrooms or whatever other needs they describe in their proposals.”
Rachel Christlieb, a 3rd-grade teacher at Nettlehorst, hopes to apply for a grant that would further her goal of integrating technology into the classroom.
“We’re not in it for the fame and fortune,” she said. “We’re in it for the education and for the children. But it’s nice to know our hard hours and work are recognized and appreciated.”
Grant winners will be determined by online voting, which has already begun to mobilize school communities, particularly in Nevada and Montana where the pilot program was launched.
“One woman told me that she’d been teaching in a small Nevada town for 20 years and had no idea how much she was loved by the community,” said Rice. “She said that people were stopping her on the street to say they were voting for her proposal, and that their thanks meant far more to her than the money.”
Anyone over 13 years of age is invited to thank a teacher by visiting thankamillionteachers.com.