Record-Setting School Supply Drive Kicks Off 8th Year of Main Street America’s Partnership with Woodland Acres Elementary School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the eighth consecutive year, The Main Street America Group is
continuing its impactful private business-public school partnership with
Jacksonville’s Woodland Acres Elementary School, a Duval County (Fla.)
Public School located in the city’s Arlington neighborhood.


Main Street America’s annual Back-to-School Supply Drive is one example
of the Jacksonville-based property/casualty insurance carrier’s
year-round support of the elementary school. The company’s
Jacksonville-based employees recently donated thousands of much-needed
items, including notebook paper, pencils, erasers, copy paper, washable
markers, highlighters and other items. More than 50 large boxes of
items, the most ever donated by the Southside company’s employees, were
packaged and delivered last week so teachers could select the items they
needed to set up their classrooms for the first day of the new school
year.

“You are changing the lives of our children,” said Woodland Acres
first-grade teacher Brittany Villmow. “This year, I won’t have to turn
away any students who cannot afford school supplies. Thank you to Main
Street America for all that they do for our school and helping to set
our students up for success.”

“As a new teacher, I truly appreciate the resources Main Street America
has provided us,” added TJ Bartholomew, a third-grade teacher at
Woodland Acres. “It certainly helps us start the school year off right!”

In addition to the supply drive and a student book fair held last
spring, which enabled every K-2 student to select a book to take home
and keep for summer reading, a team of dedicated Main Street America
employees tutors students onsite each month throughout the school year.
Employees spend valuable one-on-one time with assigned students on
campus, focusing on literacy learning.

Main Street America’s partnership with Woodland Acres began in 2009
through the University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human
Services’ Professional Development Schools program. What started small
has grown into impactful hands-on involvement with the elementary
school, considered the “flagship” for the university’s award-winning
Professional Development School program.

“There are a lot of businesses in Jacksonville that work with schools,
but through the years Main Street America has become part of the
school,” said Christie Stevenson, Woodland Acres’ resident clinical
faculty member from the University of North Florida.

Fifth-Grade Field Trip

Main Street America’s impactful partnership includes hosting an interactive
field trip at its corporate headquarters
. Each spring, Main Street
America welcomes Woodland Acres’ entire fifth grade class to its
Southside offices. Nearly 100 students typically participate, learning
the basics of the property/casualty insurance industry and what it’s
like to work at a locally based company. Activities include an office
tour and brief presentations from members of the company’s claims,
underwriting, information technology and products teams.

“The field trip is unique in that it gives the students an opportunity
to see what a real local business looks like and how it operates. It’s
really eye-opening and gives them an idea of something that might be a
possible career path for them in the future,” stated Dr. Susan Syverud,
UNF’s professor-in-residence at Woodland Acres. “Main Street America has
been involved with us for a long time, and with time, our partnership
keeps getting better and more impactful.”

“Main Street America’s employees treat our students like young adults
and encourage them to ask questions and they become very engaged during
the field trip,” added Stevenson. “This level of interaction makes them
feel very special and broadens their vision.”

Funding for Technology-Enhanced Instruction and Other Programs

Main Street America has also funded the purchase of 25 tablet devices
that are being used to tutor struggling readers at Woodland Acres. This
use of technology-related instruction at Woodland Acres complements the
efforts of our Main Street’s employee tutors who work with struggling
readers in grades 3-5. In addition, Main Street America has financed the
launch of the school’s Positive Student Behavior Rewards Program and
spearheaded funding to create a community outreach initiative to get
parents more involved in their children’s education.

About The Main Street America Group

With roots dating back to 1923, The Main Street America Group is a
mutual insurance holding company which writes business through its nine
property/casualty insurance carriers: NGM Insurance Company, Old
Dominion Insurance Company, Austin Mutual Insurance Company, Grain
Dealers Mutual Insurance Company, Main Street America Assurance Company,
Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Company, MSA Insurance Company, Spring
Valley Mutual Insurance Company and Main Street America Protection
Insurance Company. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., Main Street America
offers a wide range of commercial and personal insurance, as well as
fidelity and surety bond products, to individuals, families and
businesses throughout the United States.

With nearly $1 billion in premium written exclusively by more than 2,500
independent insurance agents, the 93-year-old company insures 600,000
policyholders in 37 states and writes bonds in 47 states and the
District of Columbia. A.M. Best Company rates The Main Street America
Group with an “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “a+” issuer
credit rating. The company has $1.1 billion in surplus (capital) and
over $2.4 billion in total assets.

Main Street America is the founding company partner of Trusted Choice®,
the global branding program of the Independent Insurance Agents &
Brokers of America. Main Street America is also a founding company
partner of the TrustedChoice.com consumer agent portal and the Insurance
Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center. For more
information about Main Street America, please visit our newsroom at http://news.msagroup.com
or connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MainStreetAmerica.

Contacts

The Main Street America Group
Mark Friedlander, 904-380-7461
friedlam@msagroup.com