From today through Oct. 30, public school teachers — grades K-12 — from Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes can submit classroom projects for the chance to receive grants from Chevron through its Fuel Your School program.

“It was just such a blessing for our classroom. It’s a real game changer when $1,000 worth of supplies comes in, especially when you're a new teacher,” said Melissa Williamson, a teacher at H. L. Bourgeois High School who first applied for a Fuel Your School grant four years ago. “The kids were excited; I was excited. So, we started sharing the program with other teachers at our school.”

The program was created to fund mostly Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects, but other types of projects are accepted.

The first couple of projects she requested through Fuel Your School had STEM supplies in it, Williamson said, along with basic classroom supplies. For example, a lot of her students arrive without writing utensils, she said, so she always requests pencils. She has also ordered items related to school spirit to help the climate and culture of the classroom, she said.

“If you just really want kids wanting to be in your classroom, that's the key,” Williamson explained. “If you make them happy being there, they'll learn from you for sure.”

To apply for the grant, teachers can post their project on DonorsChoose.org. Each submission has a $1,000 limit. The process is easy, Williamson acknowledged, and DonorsChoose gives timely feedback in case the project does not meet the grant’s requirements.

Anyone can donate to the projects of their choosing on the DonorsChoose website and/or fill up their vehicle at participating Chevron locations — from which Chevron and Extra Yard for Teachers will donate $1 per 8-gallon or more fill-up to the program’s total.

“Everybody feels a part of being a successful link for education, and it just helps bring the community together with education, which is a good relationship to have,” Williamson said.

Fuel Your School has generated $2,705,075 for schools in Louisiana since 2012. This year, Chevron will be providing up to $375,000 in total to thousands of teachers across the state.

Other eligible parishes include East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Tammany.

For the full details on project submissions, visit fuelyourschool.com.

“Fuel Your School is one part of our efforts to support local schools and teachers,” Leah Brown, public affairs manager for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit, said. “We hope to spark a love of learning, help students succeed in school and pave the way for them to be engineers and scientists in the future. We’re proud to once again bring the program to Louisiana and are looking forward to seeing some great submissions.”

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