Jacksonville-based Southern Oak Insurance Company celebrates contribution to scholarship program by hosting hurricane preparedness event for elementary students


Just six weeks before the 2011 hurricane season officially starts, representatives from Southern Oak Insurance Company visited Cornerstone Christian School to speak to the children about how to help prepare their families and homes in the event of a natural disaster. Nearly 40 elementary students from Cornerstone Christian School attended the hurricane preparedness event Wednesday, April 20. Southern Oak’s vice president Ron Natherson engaged the elementary students in a brief presentation on what items to include in a hurricane kit, and how they might help to secure their family’s home in preparation for a hurricane. Students then participated in a hands-on craft activity where they were able to design their own paper hurricane, name it and place it on a large map of the state of Florida.

As one of its many community outreach initiatives, Southern Oak Insurance Company joined the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program as a corporate partner in 2010 and has since contributed $250,000 to fund scholarships for low-income Florida families. In addition to their financial investment in the scholarship program, Southern Oak Insurance offered this event to students from Cornerstone Christian School, a school that participates in the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, as an educational way to prepare for hurricane season.

“At Southern Oak we live and work here in Florida, so it is of utmost importance to our company to provide the best service to the people in our community. And that mentality extends beyond our business, which is why partnering with Step Up For Students was a perfect solution” said Ron Natherson. “Through this innovative program, we are able to help Florida families choose where their children attend school, when they otherwise would not have the financial means to do so. And it comes at no cost to our company, so it truly is an opportunity that we are glad to take advantage of.”

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that administers scholarships to students so that low income Florida families can choose a school that may better fit their child’s learning style. Students that qualify may receive more than $4000 towards private school tuition or a $500 scholarship to help with transportation costs of attending another public school in a different county. Companies like Southern Oak Insurance are able to redirect their Florida tax liability to fund the scholarships, and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the amount they redirect to the program.

Southern Oak Insurance Company is a member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Northeast Florida’s (IIANF), and also the presenting sponsor for the group’s 2011 ‘Big I Day’ events. “We are thrilled that one of our members has taken the initiative to give back to Florida’s low income youth through this scholarship program” said IIANF President Michael Beach, CIC. “Our association has a long history of supporting education in Florida, and this program is another great way for companies to get involved.”

About Southern Oak Insurance Company

Southern Oak Insurance Company is a Florida-based insurance company specializing in personal residential property coverage. It is a privately held company wholly owned and operated by Florida residents with home offices in Jacksonville. The core strength of Southern Oak is its knowledge and understanding of the Florida Property Insurance Market with members of its executive team having over 100 years of insurance experience. Southern Oak holds a Demotech financial stability rating of “A” (Exceptional). For more information, visit www.southernoakins.com.

About Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students is a nonprofit organization that administers the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income Florida students. The scholarship program was created by the Florida Legislature in 2001 and is funded by corporations that receive dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. For more information, visit www.StepUpForStudents.org.