Graham Teacher Finalist in the Thank a Million Teachers Dream Big Challenge
Elissa Dornam Named One of Fifteen Finalists in Insurer’s Thank a Million Teachers Dream Big Challenge

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 11, 2014) – Farmers Insurance announced today that Elissa Dornam of Rocky Ridge Elementary in Graham, WA has been named a finalist in the Thank a Million Teachers Dream Big Challenge, putting her in the running for one of five $100,000 "Dream Big" grants rewarding winning teachers for their ideas to transform their classrooms, schools and communities. Dornam was surprised with a special visit from Farmers executives today when they arrived at her classroom to share the exciting news.

The Thank A Million Teachers program was launched earlier this year, inviting individuals across America to offer heartfelt thanks to  teachers, present and past, for their positive impact on students and communities.  Teachers were then invited to participate in the Dream Big Challenge, submitting proposals for their chance to be one of five outstanding teachers nationwide awarded with a grant to help them transform their school community.  Since the launch of the Thank A Million Teachers program in late December, more than 760,000 teacher thank you’s have been received, putting the national effort far ahead of its stated goal of thanking one million teachers in 2014.

Teachers across the country went through a rigorous proposal submission and review process, and Dornam was selected to move on to the next round. Dornam’s proposal seeks to provide iPad tablets, software applications and intervention curriculum to support students’ mastery of the Common Core State Standards. Over 66 percent of the students come from poverty with many not having access to modern technological tools such as tablets or computers.  A digital learning program would provide the opportunity for each classroom to receive a set of iPad tablets loaded with engaging, computer adaptive online reading and math applications fully  

Beginning October 1, the finalists’ proposals will be available for public voting at, allowing individuals nationwide to cast their votes for their favorite proposals.  We were so impressed with the quality of proposals we received throughout the entry period of the Dream Big Challenge and it was tough to select the top fifteen finalists,” said Randy Rice, National Manager of Education Programs at Farmers Insurance. “We are thrilled to share the news that Dornam is one step closer to transforming her school and community through the Dream Big Challenge, and we invite everyone to vote to help make their favorite proposal a reality.”

Beginning on October 1, anyone can vote for any of the 15 proposals, but a person can vote for the same proposal only once per day. Visit to share your thanks for a teacher who has made a difference in your life and learn more about the program.



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