Kansas City, November 20,2016: Tammy Murphy has one big reason to be thankful this holiday season.
Mrs. Murphy, a fourth grade teacher at James Elementary School, was recently selected to receive a $2,500 classroom grant from Farmers Insurance. On the well-polished hardwood stage, she accepted an oversized check from company representatives in front of an auditorium full of students and staff during a recent award ceremony.
“I’m so thankful to Farmers for this program,” Murphy said. “This is going to make a real difference for all of our students.”
The grant was part of the ongoing “Thank A Million Teachers” initiative run by Farmers Insurance. Murphy’s grant proposal was one of just 60 across the U.S. selected by popular vote from a pool of 1,500 applications, according to Farmers Insurance District Manager Tom Quintrell.
Murphy plans to use the grant to purchase grade-appropriate, dual-language reading materials for her English language learner (ELL) students. About 81 percent of the students at James Elementary fall within the ELL classification, according to Principal Mary Bachkora.
“These grants help in very tangible ways by helping our teachers purchase supplemental materials, but they also generate a team spirit and a positive energy,” she said. “Several of our teachers have done an outstanding job of grant writing. We’re all working towards a common goal, which is student success.”
Dr. Bachkora’s assessment was echoed by James Elementary kindergarten teacher Dana Chambers, one of the teachers awarded a Farmers Insurance grant over the summer. Ms. Chambers used her grant to purchase books which Mrs. Murphy’s fourth graders read to the kindergartners.
“We all work together as a team,” Chambers said.
In addition to the grant, local Farmers Insurance employees donated personal care items to James Elementary students. It’s all part of a corporate culture that emphasizes community involvement, Mr. Quintrell said.
“Farmers Insurance is all about helping our communities, and we focus on helping our teachers,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to give back.”
This is the third Farmers Insurance classroom grant awarded to a James Elementary teacher since July. Each successful application leads more teachers at the school to apply, said Dr. Bachkora, whose school recently earned 100 percent of the possible points on its Annual Progress Report.