feature Chevron Fuel Your School program stops by Stege Elementary

When Oakland A’s mascot Stomper made a boisterous surprise-visit to the auditorium at Stege Elementary on Wednesday morning, the kids understandably went wild.

Their happiness was perhaps eclipsed only by their teachers, who received ample donations of classroom supplies that they had requested as part of Chevron’s annual Fuel Your School program. 

In a celebration to promote Fuel Your School to educators throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties, Richmond Mayor Butt and West Contra Costa Unified District Superintendent Matt Duffy joined teachers and students at Stege Elementary in cheering on Fuel Your School’s ninth year.

Throughout the month of October, Chevron donates $1 every time consumers fill up with 8 or more gallons at participating Chevron of Texaco stations, up to $1 million. That money then goes toward funding eligible projects and materials in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that local teachers request through DonorsChoose.org, an online charity. The project submission period opened on Sept. 30.

Over the last nine years, over 8,400 classroom projects at 633 schools in Alameda and Contra Costa County have been funded by Chevron Fuel Your School. The program is receiving a total $6 million this year for public schools in 17 U.S. markets.

“These donations, especially when budgets are tight, have helped our hard-working and dedicated educators provide compelling classroom instruction, which is critical in keeping [students] focused and engaged,” Duffy said Wednesday.

Mayor Butt, an architect by trade, stressed to the children the importance of STEM education in prepping for their careers.

“If I didn’t know a lot about those things, I’d be a bad architect,” the mayor said.

Butt lauded Chevron as a “good partner in education,” saying the company’s contributions go beyond Fuel Your School. As an example, he mentioned the Richmond Promise program, which provides scholarships of up to $6,000 for all Richmond and North Richmond students set to attend a two- or four-year school, along with guidance in financial aid and college acclimation. The program is funded from $35 million of a $90 community benefits agreement between the City and Chevron connected to the $1 billion Richmond Refinery Modernization Project. 
The Fuel Your School program is part of Chevron’s overall support for education, which has totaled over $400 million worldwide since 2013, much of it supporting STEM education. 

STEM education preps kids for careers of the future, and provides workforce to help companies like Chevron thrive.

 “We believe that teaching STEM will help ensure that you can be whatever you want to be,” Greg Terk, a Chevron executive, told Stege students Wednesday. “I hope you know that your teachers in this room are helping you build your skills for the future.”

Written by Mike Aldax and originally published in the Richmond Standard.