Communication Builds Our Community

State Farm Awards $100,000 in Grants to Assist Florida Teachers

Lake Wales Well Represented Among Grant Winners

Teachers in Florida were asked to submit their innovative teaching ideas the week of Jan. 11 for an opportunity to win State Farm ® Teacher Assist grants. In less than 2 hours, 200 entry forms were submitted by Florida teachers!

State Farm is proud to award $100,000 to teachers across Florida. Forty teachers will each receive a $2,500 grant to implement or support their classroom projects. Visit the State Farm ® Teacher Assist website for a complete list of winners.

We have 9 winning teachers out of 200 in Polk County. Three of the teachers are from Lakes Wales and 3 from Haines City. Here is additional information on each of the nine winning teaching ideas:

• Melissa Anne Konkol at Gause Academy of Leadership in Bartow: Students will be able to gather data to upload into their software and create relevant maps for their community. Prepare students to become GIS Technicians. Konkol lives in Lake Wales.

• Blake Riedel at McLaughlin Middle School and Fine Arts Academy in Lake Wales: The grant will help purchase initial setup of 3-D Printers, 3-D Filament, and automatic systems for distance learners.

• Jennifer Middlebrook at Roosevelt Academy in Lake Wales: Create an outdoor classroom for children with learning challenges.

• Megan Whitaker at Edward W Bok Academy North in Lake Wales: The "Double Bundle". Teacher mirrors to the students on how to use and learn math. Students use their hands and learn by "doing" (Mirroring Math).

• Rachael Sumner at Sandhill Elementary School in Haines City: Students will have an opportunity to participate in an extremely engaging, unique, hands-on learning coding learning experience and other games.

• Tara Boucher at Daniel Jenkins Academy in Haines City: Students in the environmental science class would fix existing gardens as well as build new gardens to learn the process of growing and harvesting food.

• Lauren Yearry at Bethune Academy in Haines City: Students will be provided the opportunity to prepare, plant, tend to, and harvest fresh produce for their at-need family.

• Tyler Goehring at Lake Gibson Middle School in Lakeland: Expose students to a variety of string orchestra literature composed by women and other minority groups. Purchase music by women and minority composers.

• Greg Guy at Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy in Davenport: Students will listen and analyze songs that are related to the concepts that are being learned in the classroom. Purchase mobile listening stations.

State Farm is awarding $500,000 in grants to teachers. Two hundred teachers, 40 each in Florida, California, Michigan, New York and Texas will each be receiving $2,500 State Farm® Teacher Assist grants. The money will help them meet the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.

"As a company, we have a long history of working with teachers, educators, and students across the country. We are heartened by the immense response received from teachers sharing their solutions to overcoming challenges," said Annette Martinez, State Farm Senior Vice President. "Congratulations to the winners. We are proud to support you and help you reach your goals!"

State Farm officials expressed thanks to teachers for submitting their ideas and "making our neighborhoods safer, stronger and better educated."


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