JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Chevron refinery announced it's putting more than $1 million into the gulf coast to educate kids and keep the environment clean. The grant is part of an "Energy for Learning" program that targets local schools and non-profits.
The company's General Manager Tom Kovar said Excel By 5 and the National Audubon Society Chevron will split $1.25 million over the next five years.
"Education can only benefit the community," Kovar said.
Excel by 5 is a certification program that helps communities prepare little ones for kindergarten. Early Beginning Resources center in Pascagoula is a community partner.
"We have seen our entering kindergarten scores, our children are coming in much more capable and much more aware of the skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten," Program Director Connie Jo Williams said.
Chevron has already given several thousands of dollars to this center. The new grant promises another learning boost.
"We have 50 to 70 visitors a month," Williams said. "We have a mailing list of over 650 families we send news letter to, so we are making a difference."
Over at National Audubon Center in Moss Point, Director Mark LaSalle said it speaks volumes that an oil company would invest so much money into an environmental conservation and preservation program.
"For example the oil spill here, we need to be more aware our national environment and appreciative of its value to us, both for its beauty and for the things we take for granted," LaSalle said.
The global oil company is hoping the Energy for Learning grant forms community partnerships to help make the gulf coast a healthier, happier and better place to live.
"I would certainly encourage other large companies to do the same thing, and I know a lot of them that do."
Chevron also helped rebuild 40 childcare centers in Jackson County after Hurricane Katrina.
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