66,399 East Bay students benefit from Chevron’s 2014 Fuel Your School program

66,399 East Bay students benefit from Chevron’s 2014 Fuel Your School program
The second grade class at Peres Elementary pose with Chevron executive Mike Wirth at a Fuel Your School promotional event in October. Peres is one of many schools to benefit from the donor program.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc.’s Fuel Your School program last year generated $1 million in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, helping to fund 661 local public school classroom projects and aiding the educations of 66,399 students, the company announced Wednesday.

Just over 300 of the local projects funded through the nationwide initiative support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, the company said.

Since 2010, Chevron’s Fuel Your School program has been funding requests from local teachers seeking educational tools their school cannot afford. During the month of October, Chevron donates a dollar every time drivers purchase more than 8 gallons of fuel at participating gas stations. Those funds are then used to purchase the educational tools requested by public school teachers on DonorsChoose.org.

Last year, teachers at more than 400 public schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties received valuable classroom resources through the program.  Students at Richmond College Prep Charter School, for example, received laboratory equipment including a microscope, slides, safety goggles, beakers and a scale, the company said.

“Thanks to Chevron’s Fuel Your School, the lab equipment will make a huge difference for my students,” fifth-grade teacher Ms. Moloney said in a statement. “Reading from a textbook can never be nearly as engaging or meaningful. My students love science so much more when they can take part in hands-on scientific experiments.  This will really help them develop as budding scientists.”

Kelly Fimbres’ second-grade classroom at Richmond’s Peres Elementary is incrementally becoming state of the art thanks to the program. At an event to promote Fuel Your Schools last fall, her class received a few Apple iPad minis. Fimbres has used DonorsChoose.org more than 60 times to provide her students with educational tools.

Chevron has launched multiple local education initiatives, particularly those promoting STEM studies so students will have “the critical skills they will need to succeed in jobs of the future.” Last year, the company surpassed $45 million for that effort and has totaled over $140 million since 2010. The Oakland A’s, for example, teamed with Chevron on multiple occasions last year to promote STEM education via the science of baseball.

“The talented young minds in our communities’ public schools should have tools for success – and it is our goal to help make that possible,” said Dale Walsh, president of Chevron Americas Products.

Since its inception, Fuel Your Schools has helped fund more than 23,500 classroom projects at more than 4,000 schools in the U.S., according to Chevron.