Philadelphia, PA, October 11, 2012 – Students and faculty of Olney Charter High School were presented with a grant for $98,890 from State Farm representatives today to help produce and expand the charter school’s nutritional education program, Café Excepcional.
Café Excepcional addresses how education, poor nutrition, and food segregation impacting healthy eating and lifestyles. The café will produce and educate the Olney community on nutritious foods to combat obesity. The project will also include special education students to collaborate on positive youth interaction and integration. Similarities, instead of difference, will be taught through food history and culture to show how healthy food and nutrition is essential for all. This service learning approach is paramount to the concept of Café Excepcional and primary criteria for the school to receive the funds from State Farm.
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board (YAB) has granted over $20 million in grant money since its inception in 2006, empowering youth to implement service-learning in 397 communities. YAB is made up of 30 students from across the United States and Canada who manage an annual $5 million budget and uses this money to fund student-led service-learning projects. Service-learning is a teaching strategy that provides a connection between what is taught in the classroom to application in the real world through research, identification of solutions, and service.Students address community needs while strengthening their academic performance. “State Farm supports service-learning because it promotes excellence in public schools”, said Brian Madalion, a local State Farm agent in West Oak Lane who attended the Olney presentation. “Research indicates that school-based service-learning encourages students to become active participants in their education.”
The YAB Projects must focus on one of the following initiatives: Access to Higher Education/Closing the Achievement Gap, Driver Safety, Environmental Responsibility, Financial Literacy, and Natural and Societal Disaster Preparedness. The Olney Charter Cafe Excepcional program was awarded under the latter category. Societal disaster categories include childhood obesity, health, and domestic violence issues.
“State Farm has long believed that for communities to thrive, young people must be empowered as leaders and decision-makers to address real issues. We’re excited to engage youth in our work and to have them help us foster youth-led service-learning programs and community enhancement programs in communities across the United States and Canada,” said Kathy Payne, State Farm Director - Education Leadership.
For more information on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board grants including applications for interested youth aged 17-20 to become Youth Advisory Board member, visit www.statefarmyab.com.
Dave Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist, (610) 358-7667.
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is a diverse group of 30 youth, ages 17-20, who were chosen through a competitive process to lead and oversee this $5 million/year signature service-learning initiative. The Youth Board identified the issues, issued competitive grants and will now provide technical assistance, communication and oversight to site grantees.
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. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.