At DonorsChoose.org we collaborate with Chevron’s Fuel Your School program in more than 20 regions in the country. The following is a guest post from Brent Tippen, Public and Government Affairs and Fuel Your School program manager for Chevron.
Just four short years ago, Chevron’s Fuel Your School program started out as a small, yet innovative, pilot project in two California Bay Area counties, with the goal of helping teachers get the resources they most need for their students.
The Fuel Your School program is part of Chevron’s larger commitment to STEM education in the U.S. which in 2014 will surpass $45,000,000, and has totaled over $140,000,000 since 2010. Working with our partners, Chevron takes a holistic approach to investments in education by getting students excited about STEM, supporting educational standards and proven curricula, and supporting teacher training.
The Fuel Your School concept is simple: teachers post project requests to DonorsChoose.org and during the month of October, when consumers fuel up with eight or more gallons at a participating Chevron or Texaco gas stations, Chevron donates $1 to local classrooms. In its first year, Chevron donated $1 million, to help fund teachers’ eligible classroom projects requests.
Over the years both we and DonorsChoose.org have seen tremendous growth and success through the program. Today, in its fifth year, the Fuel Your School program goal has expanded to generate up to $8.6 million for public education in 22 U.S. communities where Chevron operates, with the help of local Chevron and Texaco marketers in six markets.
What’s even more impressive is the program’s impact – since its inception, Chevron has helped fund more than 17,000 classroom projects at 3,200 K-12 public schools. The majority of funding has helped support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related project requests.
At Chevron, we understand that few factors are more important to the success of our business – and to a country’s ability to compete in the global marketplace –than a robust supply of workers educated/trained in STEM fields. That’s why Chevron supports STEM at every stage – from early education through employment, including programs like Fuel Your School.
Teachers like Mr. Garrett Fogel, a first-grade teacher at John Green Elementary School in Dublin, Calif., whose projects have been funded with the help of the Fuel Your School program, have taken advantage of DonorsChoose.org to bridge the gap to get necessary, yet out of reach, resources to inspire students to learn and grow.
Chevron’s overall education commitment includes support for DonorsChoose.org, which we’re proud to see has helped increase awareness and kick start growth in new communities. For example, regions with historically low-adoption of the website have seen project postings increase as much as 700% after the Fuel Your School program expanded in to the region.
Over the next five years, DonorsChoose.org is challenging itself to use this momentum to achieve what they call their “big, hairy, audacious goal”: inspire 1 million people to give $100 million to fund classroom projects in 100 percent of high-need public schools. It’s a big goal, and we’re proud to help DonorsChoose.org achieve their goal.
I’m amazed at what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continuing this work, and helping provide teachers like Mr. Fogel with classroom supplies to help keep students engaged and bring learning to life.
For a full list of 2014 participating communities, visit www.FuelYourSchool.com and follow Chevron’s Fuel Your School on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.