Schools across the country continue to try to do more with less, and budgets are squeezed and classroom sizes begin to bulge. Funding from any source is a welcome relief, and in Utah and California, that help comes from an unlikely source – the gas pump. The Fuel Your School program launched by Chevron in both Utah and California was a big success last year, and this year, the company and the schools involved with the program hope to see the same positive results.
What is Fuel Your School?
Fuel Your School is a program introduced to California and Utah communities by Chevron and DonorsChoose.org. This large company and non-profit organization are teaming up to provide teachers with much-needed supplies for the classroom. The focus of the funding is on STEM learning, so additional money typically goes to help science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related projects. However, other types of projects are also eligible for funding from this program.
The premise of the program is relatively easy – to raise money for your school, simply fill your gas tank at one of the participating Chevron stations during the month of October. For every eight gallons of gas you purchase, Chevron donates $1 to the school. Last year, the initial launch of Fuel Your School in California raised more than $850,000 for the schools in the California communities, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Helping Schools in California and Utah
According to the Fuel Your School website, Chevron introduced this program because the company believes education is an important foundation for this country’s future. This year, the program is available to around 640 schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California, and 300 schools in Davis and Salt Lake counties in Utah. That means thousands of students stand to benefit from the additional funding provided by Chevron, with money going directly into the classroom to enhance the learning experience where students and teachers need the money most.
“We are extremely proud to continue the Fuel Your School campaign,” Dale Walsh, president of Chevron Americas Products told the Bee. “We were touched by the outpouring of support from the community last year. As a Bay Area company, we are committed to improving and supporting our local schools and communities. Fuel Your School enables us to fulfill this commitment with funding for critical education resources.”
How Teachers Get Funding
Any teacher in the participating Utah and California schools is eligible to receive a portion of the funding received through Fuel Your School. To apply for a portion of the money, teachers post their project proposal at the DonorsChoose.org website. Examples of some of the requests that have been made through the Fuel Your School program include supplies for science classes, sound systems for classrooms and whiteboards.
The earlier a teacher applies for a portion of the funding, the more likely he or she will get the money needed. Project requests can be made once a teacher signs on as a member of the DonorsChoose.org website. Interested community members, parents and students can also go onto the DonorsChoose.org website any time they like to see the projects that have been posted and track their fundraising progress at the Fuel Your School website.
This video reports on a school which received a Fuel Your School award.
New Fuel Your School Campaign in Full Swing
The Fuel Your School campaign will be going on throughout the month of October in both Utah and California, with a goal of raising as much as $500,000 for schools in the Davis and Salt Lake counties and as much as $1 million for Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Those interested in participating in the campaign simply need to purchase their gas from participating Chevron and Texaco filling stations. Chevron will do the rest in terms of making the donation and tracking the progress on the Fuel your School website. There is a different link for each state to make it easier to track progress in each location.
“It’s not news that every state in the nation, including Utah, has made painful spending cuts in education,” Larry K. Shumway, Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction, told News.Gnom.es. “Sadly, this comes at a time when we need more investment in education. Chevron’s Fuel Your School offers help in these critical times. The six districts in Salt Lake and Davis counties will benefit greatly as Chevron pumps up to $500,000 into underfunded classrooms.”
DonorsChoose.org is an online donor website for public schools in need of additional funding. Public school teachers can post requests on the website, and individuals can decide to donate to any of the specific projects located on the forum. Needs range considerably in terms of the amount of money requested, so nearly everyone can find a cause they can afford. Once a project is complete, the donor receives a letter and photo from the classroom, letting him know the difference his contribution made in the lives of students.
“Last year, Chevron bought much-needed materials and supplies to more than 114,000 students in the Bay area,” Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, stated in a press release at Market Watch. “DonorsChoose.org is proud to be a part of the Fuel Your School campaign for the second year and to continue working with Chevron to help support Utah’s schools and students.”
Educators living in the California and Utah areas where Fuel Your School is located are urged to get project requests into the website as soon as possible. Parents and community members can begin contributing to the Fuel Your School funds in both states, simply by filling their gas tanks at participating filling stations throughout the month of October.
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