State Farm agents give back to Sapulpa schools

Local State Farm agents donate $5,000 to SPS
Posted on 04/16/2020
Chromebooks being processed(SPS) -- Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

The company's tagline has never been more true, especially in our community.

Five local State Farm insurance agents donated $5,000 to Sapulpa Public Schools to help fund an insurance plan for the maintenance work that will be needed after the district distributed more than 1,100 Chromebooks to elementary school students.

“I want to thank all of the agents,” said Superintendent Rob Armstrong. “We’re just very grateful to them for stepping up to help the district, our students, and our community.”

The devices will help the students with the transition to distance learning and they should provide some relief to parents who are working remotely.

“My husband and I are working from home, while trying to homeschool,” said Rebecca LaFevers, the mother of two Freedom Elementary School students. “Right now we are sharing laptops in the house, while we work, so it will be less stressful when everyone has their own.”

LaFevers is more than a parent, though. She’s also one of the five agents along with Tom Cilio, Floyd Morris, Chuck McKinney, and Corbin Cooper who felt the need to do something during this time.

State Farm agents

“Every agent immediately jumped on board when I called and asked them to help support the schools,” said LaFevers. “We felt helping the schools is the best way to serve the majority of Sapulpa. We knew the distance learning would present different challenges for families.”

LaFevers then called Donia Doudican, Director of Instructional Design for Sapulpa Public Schools to ask how the group could help. With the understanding that many more Chromebooks would be in service and how the devices will help students, Doudican knew exactly how the money could be used because of how the devices would help the students.

“Being able to offer a variety of learning opportunities for students is always important, but it is especially critical during this time of social distancing. In order to support the various learning styles and needs of our students, providing Chromebooks opens the doors for a variety of educational programs that will help sustain as well as enhance the skills that were taught this year. It also provides an avenue for students to network with teachers and classmates in an effort to address social-emotional needs too,” said Doudican.

A few years ago, the district implemented a 1:1 learning initiative. Each student in 6th through 12th grades receives a Chromebook at the beginning of each year that they use in class and at home.

With each Chromebook, parents are encouraged to purchase insurance to cover the cost of repairs and replacements. Understanding how the pandemic and economic downturn has tightened budgets for many, the district did not consider asking elementary school parents to pay insurance when it opened up the opportunity for them to receive a device.

“We understand there will be a lot of wear and tear and use on these tools during this time and we obviously understand the value of insurance,” said LaFevers.

“When I heard the State Farm Agents were wanting to help Sapulpa Public Schools and our families by donating money to help offset the possible repair costs I was very excited but yet not surprised,” said Carla Cale, the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the school district. “Their willingness to do this for our students and parents meant that my team would not need to worry about collecting money from families.”

With that concern off the table, Cale’s team was able to focus its efforts on barcoding and assigning each Chromebook, attaching a charger, bagging the devices, and labeling each bag with the student’s name. It’s a tedious process, especially as the team practiced social distancing to get the job done. It was also a process that the 15 team members embraced with open arms.

“They work tirelessly to ensure our district knows who has every one of the 3,600 Chromebooks we have in circulation. Not only have these amazing people spent many hours preparing the elementary Chromebooks and chargers to go home, but our team also is involved every day with dealing with students who currently have Chromebooks or chargers that may have become damaged or not working properly,” said Cale.

“None of this could have happened if it wasn’t for this amazing team that is willing to do what is necessary to ensure Sapulpa Public School students have what they need to be as successful as possible in this challenging time.”

The school district, much like the small businesses in Sapulpa, is woven into the fabric of this community. So as LaFevers said, it just felt natural for the five agents to lend their support.

“The school system is so centric to Sapulpa. I feel like it is one of the best ways to give back and make a meaningful contribution to the entire community,” said LaFevers.

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