Orangevale School Receives GreenWorks! Grant from Project Learning Tree and Esurance
Sacramento, CA — April 16, 2009
Project Learning Tree® (PLT), the environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation, and Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, announced today that Orangevale Open K–8 School in Fair Oaks, California, will receive a GreenWorks! Grant to undertake a service-learning project focusing on the environment.
Begun in 1992, GreenWorks! Grants give youth a chance to apply classroom learning to community projects in conjunction with environmental education training and materials that PLT provides to teachers through professional development workshops. Esurance has partnered with PLT since 2007 to bring these grants to schools in communities near their local offices.
"This grant helps support California students committed to working with their community to improve their neighborhood," said Kay Antunez, California PLT coordinator. "This is the second year that Esurance has funded GreenWorks! in the Sacramento area and we are very excited by their continued support of worthwhile projects that may not have been able to go forward otherwise."
The Orangevale Open K–8 School project will involve students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The 500+ students will work together to develop a nature trail, seasonal wetland, and native landscape on the 10-acre campus. "The habitat restoration plan involves utilizing native plants and natural settings to provide habitat for songbirds, bats, and other pollinators, while providing maximum educational benefits to all grade levels and the wider community," said Judi McGuire, principal of Orangevale Open.
Last year, Orangevale Open K–8 School was chosen as the national training ground for U.S. Fish and Wildlife scientists working to help public schools turn their campuses into ecological habitats and connect their students with nature. Since then, ideas from students have been incorporated by federal biologists into the overall design for this Fair Oaks school's multi-faceted outdoor learning space. Parents, students, teachers, and community members will implement the project, and students will utilize, monitor, and maintain the space through their curricula, class electives, and physical education units.
"American children need more science education to stay competitive in the global economy and more environmental education to help protect our natural resources. Through the GreenWorks! Environmental Grants program, children get a hands-on learning opportunity that yields environmental benefits now and a lesson in environmental stewardship that will last far into the future. We are very proud to work with Project Learning Tree to make this opportunity available in a few of the communities where Esurance has offices and customers," concluded Esurance CEO Gary Tolman.
Esurance, a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM), provides personal auto insurance direct to consumers online and through select online agents. Because of Esurance's virtually paperless online customer experience, Esurance policyholders have saved thousands of trees since the company's inception. As of first quarter 2009, Esurance has also helped plant and maintain approximately 70,000 trees by supporting a variety of urban reforestation programs. Esurance is committed to safeguarding the environment through its own operational practices, including a hybrid claims fleet and carbon offset programs for its office locations. Esurance also supports a variety of environmental organizations across the U.S. For more information about Esurance's environmental initiatives, visit www.esurance.com/environment.