NEWCOMERSTOWN — Player safety is a concern for the Newcomerstown Middle School football team, and thanks to a $1,000 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant from California Casualty, the school will be able to purchase safer helmets. The coach says headgear that actually fits team members will help prevent injuries. The grant was presented back on April 5 by California Casualty’s Beth Nagy.

Newcomerstown Middle School is one 64 public middle schools and high schools in 32 states being awarded a total of $67,000 to aid sports programs affected by tight budgets.

Another Ohio school, Logan Hocking Middle School, also received $1,000.

The grant is named for California Casualty Chairman Emeritus Tom Brown, an avid sportsman who has observed that lessons learned on athletic fields – teamwork, confidence and sportsmanship – translate to the classroom and beyond.

Since its inception in 2011, more than $738,000 has been awarded to some 630 schools across the nation.

"The Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants benefit students and communities, and California Casualty is proud to support that effort," said Lisa Almeida, Assistant Vice President.

Serving educators since 1951, California Casualty has other giving initiatives to help schools that include a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover®, www.schoolloungemakeover.com; $250 Music and Arts Grants, www.calcasmusicartsgrant.com, and $200 Help Your Classroom grants, www.calcas.com/?help-your-classroom.