When Katrina flooded or flattened 16 schools in Mississippi and damaged nearly 300 other buildings last August, many people had doubts that schools would be able to reopen two months later. They were wrong.
"The way that folks pulled together through this process was amazing," said Dr. Hank Bounds. "To think we can open up schools as quickly as we did was really just short of a miracle."
State Education Superintendent Dr. Hank Bounds credits the tremendous outpouring of support from all over the country, especially from corporate partners like Chevron. On Wednesday, the company made another generous donation.
"It gives me great pleasure to officially launch Chevron's Energy for Learning Program," said Chevron Refinery General Manager Roland Kell. "At which we will commit a total of $18 million to the 23 Mississippi and Louisiana school districts affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."
Of that $18 million, Mississippi will receive $6 million. Four million will go to public school districts for academic resources and technology, and $2 million will help daycare centers recover. In fact, Chevron has already restored 40 childcare facilities since the storm.
"It's our hope that Energy for Learning will provide support for the communities of Mississippi that will need so much to enable us to grow stronger from this tragedy that we faced 12 months ago," said Kell.
"Corporate America has been generous to us," said Governor Haley Barbour. "And there has been no corporate citizen better than Chevron. Chevron has set the gold standard."
"We appreciate this gift more than you'll ever know," said Dr. Bounds.
Chevron leaders believe their gift and investment in the children will help the entire community rebound from the August 29th disaster. The funding will be available starting in the fall. A project manager will work with the various school districts to determine their needs and how much money each will get.