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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MU receives $120,000 gift from State Farm

The gift will fund four MU programs, ranging from providing MU tutors to elementary school students to training people in vehicle rescue.

June 3, 2014

Like a good neighbor, State Farm Insurance is there for MU.

The company donated roughly $120,000 to the university on May 20, bringing the company’s total donations to MU up to $1.8 million.

The latest donation has been allocated to various MU programs, including initiatives providing elementary school students with tutors and training people to rescue others from burning vehicles.

The Fire Rescue and Training Institute received the $50,000 to fund the Vehicle Rescue Program.

The 16-hour course trains first responders to quickly and efficiently remove people from their cars after an accident.

“As fire and emergency responders in Missouri are called to the scene of approximately 74 highway-related incidents per day, they have the opportunity to reduce the severity of the incidents and prevent highway fatalities when effectively educated,” FRTI director David Hedrick said.

MU Health Care also received $30,000 to fund the Mobile Age-Older Adult Driving program.

The program has worked to reduce car crashes involving older drivers by spreading information and training material on the subject since its start in 2013.

“We recognize that most older adults are among the safest drivers on the road, but those with serious vision, cognitive or psychomotor impairments may face driving retirement,” Outreach Coordinator James Stowe said. “The focus of Mobile Age is to educate those groups of professionals on how individuals with impairments can maintain safe mobility throughout the life course.”

The College of Education’s Achieve Program was given $16,200, the smallest out of the four donations.

“The Achieve program pairs one MU College of Education pre-service teacher with one or two academically struggling elementary or middle school student(s) for an entire academic year,” said education professor Stephen Whitney, who co-founded the program.

This is the second donation the program has been awarded by State Farm. In 2013, the company gifted the program a grant that was used to expand the program to two additional schools.

“The most recent donation will ensure the continuation of the program, the development of assessments to help refine the program and to continue the development of training materials to help train MU students in the tutoring (and) mentoring approach the program utilizes,” Whitney said.

Another $22,000 was awarded to the Office of Financial Success, which provides one-on-one financial counseling for students, faculty and staff.

“Our mission is to improve the financial well being of individuals and families by helping people make positive changes in their lives,” said Ryan Law, director of the office and the Center for Economic Education.

Law said the donation will help fund the office’s operating expenses and outreach efforts.

According to State Farm’s spokesman Kevin Gamble, the company donated to MU because of shared interests and hopes to continue the partnership in the future.

“State Farm and MU have many shared goals and missions — chief among them is building safer, stronger and better-educated communities — and supporting MU’s work is a natural fit for State Farm,” Gamble said. “It’s really remarkable how many programs MU has and how much good they do for so many people. We are glad to be supporting MU and these great public services they provide.”

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