Philadelphia, PA- October 25, 2011 - Representatives from the Workshop School, Project Based Learning and the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) were presented with a $10,000 grant from State Farm Tuesday afternoon to support expansion of science-based curriculum on greening technologies and energy efficiency at the Workshop School located at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. The program, called the Sustainability Workshop, is a highly innovative project that provides a challenging, rigorous, and engaging educational experience to a small group of high school seniors. Started this past this September, the project allows 30 students from Furness and South Philadelphia high schools to spend their entire school year at the Philadelphia Naval Yard’s clean energy campus working on projects that improve the energy efficiency of building design, construction, and renovation.
“The project has two main goals, “said Simon Hauger, a math and science teacher at West Philadelphia High School and one of the founders of the Sustainability Workshop. “First, it will prepare students to be successful either in college or a career related to green design and construction. And, second, students at the Sustainability Workshop will make real and tangible contributions to the work of GPIC partner organizations.
The grant was awarded by the State Farm Northeast Zone Youth Advisory Board and consists of a diverse group of students and associates between the ages of 17 and 24. They play a leadership role in creating and overseeing a $60,000 State Farm funded service-learning initiative. Their work is truly youth-led and youth-driven. The Northeast Zone Board provides grants for student-led service-learning projects in the State Farm Northeast Zone, comprised of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Service-learning projects are considered in one of three categories:
“Research demonstrates that through service-learning students become more deeply engaged in what they are learning and become civic focused.” said State Farm Northeast Zone Youth Advisory Board committee member, Ross Wheeler. “Students learn about their own community and help affect measurable and personalized change.”
State Farm agent, Sharon Owens, who toured the school during the presentation, added “For communities to thrive, our youth must be empowered as leaders and decision-makers to address real issues and problems. The Sustainability Workshop, and the efforts done through the Workshop School, foster young adults who have structured opportunities to become better prepared for college, the workforce and to participate in community solutions.”
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board has granted over $19.8 million in grant money since its inception in 2006, empowering youth to implement service-learning in 340 communities. Additionally, applications are available for interested youth aged 17-20 to become a Youth Advisory Board member. Details can be found at http://www.statefarmyab.com
Dave Phillips, Northeast Zone Public Affairs, State Farm Insurance, (610) 358-7667.
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.
Service-learning is a teaching method which supplements classroom studies with hands-on projects that address pressing community issues and problems. To learn more about service-learning visit www.nylc.org, www.ysa.org, www.service-learningpartnership.org and statefarm.com/about/part_spos/community/ed_excel/servlrng.asp.