LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 22, 2012) – Mercury Insurance Founder and Chairman George Joseph presented a check for $250,000 today to the Partnership for LA Schools. The donation benefits the Partnership’s “Blended Learning Program,” which puts technology, such as iPads and laptops, into the hands of more than 16,000 children in 22 inner-city schools in the LA area. The quarter-million-dollar contribution was made on behalf of Mercury Insurance, which Joseph founded 50 years ago in the heart of LA.
The check presentation took place in South LA at Dolores Huerta Elementary School, a participant in the Blended Learning Program. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who founded the Partnership in 2007 to turn around the city’s lowest performing schools, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia and Desiree Manuel, principal of Huerta Elementary, accepted the donation from Joseph.
“Education is the great equalizer,” said Joseph, 91, a World War II vet who flew 50 missions, attended Harvard on the G.I. Bill and received degrees in math and physics. “My mother instilled in me the importance of education and the limitless opportunities that knowledge provides. Regardless of your financial situation, the chance to learn should be available to all. It is my honor to partner with Mayor Villaraigosa and the Partnership to help provide the children of Los Angeles this opportunity.”
Last year, the Partnership launched its Blended Learning initiative, which has greatly improved student learning and instruction. Results from last year’s state tests, where the Blended Learning math initiative was fully implemented, show an overall increase of 6% in math scores compared to a flat district average.
"With this funding from Mercury Insurance and Mr. Joseph today, we are putting technology in the classroom and creating a more integrated approach to education for LA's teachers and students," Mayor Villaraigosa said to a roomful of parents, teachers and school children. "Because of innovative programs like Blended Learning, the Partnership for LA Schools has seen a 34-point jump in API (Academic Performance Index) scores this year, besting the scores of the state and most charters. Thanks to these programs, kids in the Partnership are excited about math and English. They’re looking forward to going to school and dreaming of a future where they too can be doctors, lawyers, rocket scientists, and maybe even Mayor."
Joseph, who has an affinity for math and science, also visited the school’s math lab on Monday, where he had the opportunity to see the students utilizing the technology of the Blended Learning Program.
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Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization offering predominantly personal automobile and homeowners insurance through a network of independent agents and brokers in California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices since 1962 – core values that distinguish Mercury in the marketplace.