updated 3/23/2011 11:46:44 AM ET 2011-03-23T15:46:44

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN) awarded an additional $80,000 to DonorsChoose.org, a not-for-profit that connects citizen donors to public school classroom projects. The award follows the company's initial support of $500,000.

Through its grants, Horace Mann, an insurer specializing in the public K-12 educator market, has supported more than 1,700 classroom projects this year, providing help ranging from a resistance coil set to teach the basis of electrical resistance to multicultural books to show the value of diversity.  Math games, drawing supplies and musical instruments were also among the items teachers requested to help give their students a better learning experience. 

Horace Mann's President and CEO, Peter Heckman says, "Our business focuses on teacher needs.  Through DonorsChoose.org, we're able to deliver beyond our business, by supporting teachers' efforts to obtain various classroom supplies."  Heckman explained that the company reallocated traditional advertising dollars to support the effort. 

The initial $500,000 contribution included a $250,000 matching grant fund.  "In just five weeks, the dollars were gone, finding their way into classrooms across the country," said Heckman.  "By limiting our match to half of each project, we encouraged other donors to participate and contribute, leveraging the grant into half a million dollars of support.

"It's rewarding to read the stories about the projects we've helped fund," Heckman continued.  "Even more gratifying is the opportunity to see and read the handwritten thank you notes from the teachers and their students."

Any full-time, front-line educators (classroom teachers, librarians, guidance counselors) at public schools are eligible to participate and submit projects on DonorsChoose.org.  Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org ( www.donorschoose.org ) is a nonprofit dedicated to helping public school teachers find funding for educational projects for their students.  To date, almost 170,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $77 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that have supported 4.6 million students.

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann (Horace Mann Educators Corp.) (NYSE:HMN) is the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators' financial needs. Horace Mann provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. "Founded by Educators for Educators" in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. For more information about the company, visit  www.horacemann.com .

Marilyn Titone Schaefer
Assistant Vice President, Communications Programs and PR
217-788-5744
Marilyn.titone-schaefer@horacemann.com

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