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State Farm and IESA Join to Recognize Tomorrow's Leaders

State Farm

State Farm Insurance Companies® and the Illinois Elementary School Association are joined in a partnership to recognize today's dreamers and tomorrow's leaders. State Farm is the sole presenter of the IESA Scholar Attitude Award.

Begun in 1999, the IESA Scholar Attitude Award at first honored 14 outstanding eighth grade students, one from each of the then 14 IESA geographic Board of Directors divisions. Thanks to the support of State Farm, it expanded in 2007 to recognize 28 students and to honor one boy and one girl from each of its 14 divisions. Beginning in 2008, with the expansion of the geographic divisions to 15, a total of 30 students will be selected.

"These are exciting times and the relationship we are developing with our good neighbors at State Farm is one that meshes perfectly the mission of our Association and the mission of State Farm," IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley said of the two Bloomington-based organizations. The IESA mission is to provide the leadership to ensure a wholesome, equitable setting so students in its member schools can enjoy the many positive benefits of participation in interscholastic activities. The Association supports the values of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity. The State Farm mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.

"The students from our IESA schools honored as the annual Scholar Attitude Award presented by State Farm winners are among the best and brightest in Illinois," Endsley said. "They are the young leaders in their school and community who dream to do great things as junior high school students and become the leaders, the very best of good neighbors so to speak, in their community as adults. We are fortunate to have the support of State Farm. Its involvement in this partnership makes a strong, positive, forward thinking statement to all the young people in our schools throughout Illinois."

State Farm employs more than 20,000 people in Illinois alone, making it one of the state's leading employers. State Farm has 79,200 employees and more than 16,700 agents servicing 71.6 million policies in the United States and Canada. The company says its involvement with the IESA is a natural extension of the broad commitment it has made through its Good Neighbor Citizenship program.

"For more than 80 years, State Farm has benefited from the experiences students carry from their school classrooms and playing fields into their professional lives," said Mary Crego, Senior Vice President at State Farm. "We are very pleased to join with IESA in honoring these outstanding students. Even at their young ages, they have shown they are the ones who have vision now that they can realize their dreams by going beyond what is expected of them in the classroom, in their athletic and activity competition, and in their community."

The IESA Scholar Attitude Award has honored 140 students from 100 different schools throughout Illinois. One student from each school who is considered exemplary is eligible to be chosen as a recipient provided he or she meets pre-determined standards. The following requirements apply: eighth grade status, minimum 3.5 grade-point-average (on a 4.0 scale), and participation in at least one IESA activity during his or her two-year junior high school career and demonstration of outstanding citizenship during their tenure. In addition, each student is required to submit a typed essay titled "The Value of Sportsmanship."

The 2008 Scholar Attitude Award presented by State Farm Luncheon will be Friday, April 18 at the DoubleTree Hotel, Bloomington. To learn how your school can nominate a student, visit www.iesa.org and click on Scholar Attitude.

Each Scholar Attitude Award winner will receive an individualized plaque, an individual medallion and an individual DVD commemorating the event. Each winner's school also receives a plaque to be displayed at the school.

The Illinois Elementary School Association is a not-for-profit organization of 744 public and private grade, middle and junior high schools. The IESA is the nation's only organization of its kind for students in grades five-eight. The IESA provides opportunities for participation and recognition in five sports for boys, five sports for girls, and five non-athletic activities.

State Farm Insurance Companies is one of the world's largest auto and life insurers. It also offers investment management and banking. More information is available through www.statefarm.com.

State Farm Contact:
Dave Oloffson
Public Affairs Community Specialist
(309) 763-1588
IESA Contact:
Steve Endsley
Executive Director
(309) 829-0114

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