By Kathy Chouteau
Chevron Richmond is donating $60,000 to six local schools that were vandalized in July, while also providing an additional $34,090 to fulfill classroom supply requests from 50 teachers across 21 schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD).
Mere weeks before the start of the new school year, vandals struck WCCUSD schools Nystrom Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Greenwood Academy, Bayview Elementary and Highland Elementary. Lincoln suffered the most damage, prompting a community clean-up effort that included Chevron employees and volunteers from the school district.
Chevron Richmond is donating $50,000 to support the five vandalized schools via a $10,000 credit each for in-kind supplies and support through DonorsChoose.org. Chevron Richmond offered Richmond Charter Academy a $10,000 voucher as well, as the local charter school was also targeted by vandalism in the summer.
In addition, Chevron Richmond has partnered once again with DonorsChoose.org to fund requests for school supplies made by 50 teachers across 21 other WCCUSD schools, totaling an additional $34,090. These schools include Cesar Chavez Elementary; De Anza High; Ford Elementary; Grant Elementary; John F. Kennedy High; King Elementary; Michelle Obama Elementary; Mira Vista Elementary; Murphy Elementary; Peres Elementary; Richmond High; Sheldon Elementary; and Stege Elementary.
Lily Naaz Rahnema, community engagement manager for Chevron Richmond, said the incidents of vandalism created “a very difficult time for students, teachers and our entire community.” Chevron annually funds teacher requests through DonorsChoose.org, which is the fastest way of getting support to teachers who often dig into their own pockets to fund supplies for their students.
“Hopefully this support will help equip these schools with the resources they need,” Rahnema said.
WCCUSD Superintendent Kenneth Chris Hurst remarked that he is “deeply appreciative of the generosity of Chevron Richmond,” noting his gratitude for their support of both vandalized schools and schools with high priority needs.
“Chevron’s support means a lot and will assist us with preparing students for a successful school year,” he said.
Lincoln Elementary has also received major financial support from the Chamberlin Foundation. In addition, the West Contra Costa Education Fund donated and launched a GoFundMe page to support Lincoln teachers in replacing supplies lost to vandalism. “The GoFundMe raised $34,000,” said the district, which added that the last day support the teachers via the GoFundMe is Sat., Aug. 27.
Lincoln Principal Taylor Parham expressed her appreciation to Chevron, the Chamberlin Foundation and the EdFund “for their generous donations to support our students and staff.” She added that the vandalism was devastating to Lincoln’s school community, but “the tremendous support that we have received shows that our community partners care about the success of our students, and we are grateful.”