The way gas prices have yo-yo'd recently, it's time to fill up as they're down–as I type this, anyway, before the Hurricane Sandy excuse hits the West Coast, as to the last excuse when California's prices were higher than everyone else's because, uh, California refineries are so damn close to us. WTF? Indeed.
Anyway, some local school principals will smile if you fill up at Texaco or Chevron stations.
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Does Santa Ana Unified School District Have the Money to Save the Hundreds of Jobs It Cut?
No, state education cuts have not caused these educators to moonlight pumping gas. Actually, they have, along with the assaults on their pensions, but that's another story. This story is about a unique program that has a portion of money you spend for gasoline going directly to schools in Fullerton and Huntington Beach.
Let's let Charles Best, CEO of
years ago, I began teaching history at Wings Academy, a public high
school in the Bronx. My new students and colleagues were awesome, but I
could see that the school where I was teaching did not have the same
resources as the schools I'd attended.
my old high school, we went on field trips; we had graphing calculators
and were given the supplies to do just about any art project. We did
not want for anything.
Not so for my students in the Bronx. As their teacher, I saw first-hand that all schools are not created equal.
colleagues and I spent a lot of our own money on copy paper and
pencils, but we often couldn't afford the resources that would get our
students excited about learning. We'd talk about books our students
should read, a field trip we wanted to take, or a microscope that would
bring science to life.
figured there were people out there who want to help our students, if
they could see where their money was going. So, using a pencil and
paper, I drew a website where teachers could post classroom project
requests and donors could choose a project they wanted to support.
years later, our website has channeled educational materials to 7
million students, the majority from low-income communities and many of
whom are learning English as a second language. Our site has connected
more than 800,000 donors and will help bring more than $40 million in
resources to classrooms this school year. This support is helping to
offset the more than $1.3 billion teachers spend on their classrooms
proud of the calculators, microscopes and books that we've delivered to
253,000 teachers across the United States. But there's still a lot of
work to be done, especially in the area of Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics education.
roughly 75 percent of our nation's high school students are not
proficient in mathematics when they complete 12th grade, the U.S.
Dept. of Labor projects that 15 of the 20 fastest growing occupations in
2014 will require math or science to successfully compete for those
jobs. To keep large industries competitive here in Orange County, we
need to ensure that our students have the skills to be successful in the
occupations of the future. School budgets are tight. Many teachers,
without dipping into their own wallet, do not have access to materials
that are critical to improving interest in STEM education and that bring
difficult concepts to life.
going to take a lot to strengthen teaching models in STEM education and
Chevron has been a champion for STEM education and teachers for quite
some time. Since 2009, they have supported more than 500,000 students
with DonorsChoose.org. This year Chevron is bringing their Fuel Your
School program, an innovative funding mechanism, to Orange County.
every purchase of eight or more gallons of fuel at a local Chevron or
Texaco station, Chevron will contribute $1, up to a total contribution
of $1 million, to fund eligible public school classroom projects posted
by Orange County teachers. Thanks to community members in Orange County,
this goal has already been achieved.
Through Chevron's Fuel Your School program, Ms. Cockerill of Acacia Elementary in
Los AngelesFullerton received a rubber band cannon,
which allowed her to teach distance, velocity, angle and force to her
5th and 6th graders. In addition to Ms. Cockerill's project, Chevron's
Fuel Your School program has already funded 504 other classroom projects
in Orange County that will impact 61,280 students.
to see the materials teachers are requesting in your area and which
schools will be impacted by the funds generated through the program, and
encourage teachers in your school district to post their classroom
projects today. Right now, we have the opportunity to help more
students get the materials they need for a great education and to
prepare them for the STEM careers of the future.
It's nice to see some of the record profits oil companies are reaping in a down economy go to classrooms, no? Now if they'd just hire someone for something other than oil spill cleanup we could use our Texaco and Chevron cards with even more pride.