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Farmers Insurance® Hawaii and Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Announce Grant Winners Tyler Gage and Wesley Adkins with Virtual Surprise
Organizations announce two $25,000 grants for Oahu and Neighbor Island teachers as part of the Education Innovation Teacher Challenge grant program
HONOLULU (Oct. 28, 2020) - Farmers Insurance® Hawaii and the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation are pleased to announce the winners of the Education Innovation Teacher Challenge: Tyler Gage of Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School and Wesley Adkins of James Campbell High School. Farmers Insurance® Hawaii virtually surprised Gage and Adkins, awarding each with a $25,000 grant to implement their proposed learning experiences that will go on to benefit their schools, students and the greater community.
Gage's idea, Pueo Business Leaders of Tomorrow, centers around teaching students about hydroponic farming. The students will have the opportunity to grow their own produce in the school's hydroponic greenhouse; prepare their products in the on-site school kitchen; market their products to the community at local farmers markets; and donate their revenue to local nonprofits.
"It's my passion to see our students and communities thrive in the long-term. I'd like to thank Farmers Insurance Hawaii and the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation for helping make my dreams become reality for these students," said Tyler Gage of Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kauai.
The second winner, James Campbell High School math teacher Wesley Adkins of Oahu, proposed the Ewa Beach Drive-In, a drive-in cinema that will be created from start to finish by Adkins' students. From engineering the movie screen to running the snack bar and producing a film series, the drive-in cinema project will help create unique opportunities for students to translate critical thinking skills into the professional world.
"Teachers seek to give students skills they can use for the rest of their lifetime and to get them excited about their own dreams," added Wesley Adkins of James Campbell High School. "By receiving this grant, the high school now has more resources to continue to impact our students and communities for years to come."
Hawaii Department of Education teachers were invited to submit applications to the grant program detailing their education project ideas. A panel of local judges then reviewed and evaluated the applications using three key criteria -- innovation, community impact and execution, including long-term sustainability. One finalist was then selected from Oahu and one from a Neighbor Island.
"We're honored to be able to recognize and support two hardworking teachers, Tyler Gage and Wesley Adkins, through the Education Innovation Grant Program, especially during an exceptionally challenging year for educators. The teachers' innovative projects will help provide quality education opportunities for their students and the greater Hawaii community," said Melanie Joseph, Marketing Manager for Farmers Insurance Hawaii. "Farmers Hawaii is excited to see how these ideas will come to fruition and inspire countless students to take their dreams to the next level."
Kenneth T. Hiraki, President for the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, shared: "We hope these grants will serve to inspire and spark even more innovative classroom ideas for both in-person and distance learning. During these challenging times, we are truly grateful to our public school teachers for their selfless efforts and dedication to Hawaii's youth."
Farmers Insurance® has long been committed to making a meaningful impact in the communities the insurer group is privileged to serve, and the Education Innovation Grant Program is one way the organization works to fulfill that mission. To learn more about the Education Innovation program and this year's winners, visit FarmersHawaii.com/educationinnovation .