Insurance company awards $100,000 grant and 1,200 laptops

DeKalb County School District (DCSD) celebrated the beginning of an investing, innovative, and inspirational community partnership on October 9, 2018 with State Farm Insurance.

State Farm recently awarded DCSD $100,000 in grant funds and 1,200 laptop devices in support of the district’s “I’m Ready!” college and career readiness program. The devices and funds will assist in removing barriers for high school students regarding dual enrollment, online courses, test preparation, transition programs, college and career incentives, and exposure to college campuses.

The partnership stems from collaboration between State Farm Insurance and DCSD representatives from the Department of Student Advancement under the Office of Accountability as well as the department of Career, Technical and Agriculture Education (CTAE).

“We are ready to announce a great partnership with State Farm Insurance,” said Superintendent/CEO Dr. R. Stephen Green. “You all know the slogan, ‘Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.’ We want to extend our gratitude toward State Farm for investing in DeKalb. When you see the synergy of two organizations coming together on behalf of children—that’s a powerful thing. DCSD and State Farm coming together to begin this partnership, that is a tremendous investment in our young people.”

DCSD and State Farm leaders hold large check next to laptopsDCSD’s track record of increasing accessibility and creating new pathways to college, careers, and the military for students is what caught the attention of State Farm, according to Dr. Green.

“We have made a strategic and deliberate effort to make sure that more students have opportunities for AP, IB, dual enrollment, and higher education classes throughout the district,” he said. “Today, State Farm has joined in that mission, and we know this investment will begin to pay huge dividends in the near future. This grant provides inspiration and incentive for our district to continue to soar higher and higher.”

The “I’m Ready!” initiative will impact all high schools, with an additional layer of support at McNair, Towers, Martin Luther King Jr., Lithonia, and Cross Keys high schools. The laptops will help expand support to DCSD postsecondary centers, parent centers, and help fill other programmatic needs for students and parents.

According to Dr. Phillips, the “I’m Ready” campaign will allow every student, regardless of grade level, to imagine and envision a successful future. The accompaniment of technology in the grant, Phillips said, will allow students and parents to see the infrastructural investment from not just DCSD, but the community at large.

“In this day and age, students have so many options—both good and bad,” Phillips said. “We want them to see and choose ‘forward.’ As we embark on this journey, we want to see our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students start to identify what they’re ready for, whether that be the military, a career, or moving on to college. The amount of work to get here has been incredible, but the coming transformation and increase to access to education for our students is something we will be proud of in the near future. State Farm came at the right time in creating a level playing field for our families.”

State Farm AVP for Human Resources, Clarence Hearns, spoke on behalf of all State Farm employees in celebrating the company’s ability to support DCSD’s efforts in education.

“We know that education is the bridge to economic empowerment and to realizing dreams,” Hearns said. “Our hope is to assist in removing barriers to educational success and insuring career readiness. We’re proud of our relationship with DCSD, which is readying its students for the future workforce through the ‘I’m Ready!’ initiative. Thank you for working toward improving the lives of our young people.”