AUSTIN (KXAN) — Overton Elementary school is $10,000 richer Monday morning. That’s not the only surprise. Three of their teachers unveiled more.
Teachers often reach into their own wallets to pay for classroom supplies. Charles Best, CEO of DonorsChoose.org and Chevron representatives want that trend to stop.
Best and others gathered students, teachers and faculty inside the Overton gymnasium. Three boxes decorated with bows and #FuelYourSchool signs sat in front of everyone on a table.
Not long after introductions, the principal called three teachers to the front: Ms. Berry, Mrs. Coba and Ms. Rodriguez.
Each submitted a project proposal to Chevron’s 2019 Fuel Your School Program.
- Ms. Berry — “Standing Together but Standing Alone with Virtual Reality”: Her project “will allow students to explore how Virtual Reality (VR) can be integrated into every subject area and curriculum” while also helping them “experience different careers at hand,” per a school press release.
- Mrs. Coba — “Bright Inviting Stations That Will Last”: Her project promotes “cooperative learning… where students can work independently,” per a school press release. She hopes the multiple level game cards and bright laminates will “bring excitement back into learning and get away from all the worksheets.”
- Ms. Rodriguez — “Using Math Manipulatives to Develop Number Sense”: Her project will “encourage more in-depth understanding of greater value numbers,” per a school release. She received items like math cubes and hopes they develop their “number sense” and “realize that numbers of greater value have corresponding physical representations.”
All three lifted the boxes to reveal project supplies:
One of the recipients, teacher Ms. Gikeitha Berry said: “We are elated. We have been pushing for technology.” Berry believes her students will take the experience of the VR headsets and “put them in their tool box to transition onto higher education.”
Berry shared why introducing and teaching technology like VR early to students is important.
“Catching them in the early years of elementary, it opens up curiosity, and we want to keep that going with them so when my kids go to middle school they’re not afraid to tackle challenges that they may face in the higher grades or even in the real world,” Berry said.
This is the first time the Fuel Your School program has given to the Austin-area. Overton Elementary can use the $10,000 towards more supplies and resources of their choosing beyond what their three teachers were given today.
If other AISD schools are feeling left out, teachers from the district can submit a project idea to the DonorsChoose website starting tonight.
Parents can chip in too with a trip to a nearby gas station: Chevron or Texaco, specifically. Chevron will donate $1 to help fund other eligible classroom projects at public schools in the City of Austin if you purchase eight or more gallons during the whole month of October, up to $375,000.
Visit their website for more information.