"I am very honored to be here to present awards for almost $3 million to 16 public schools," Chevron's General Manager Roland Kell said.
Kell doesn't look much like Santa Claus, but the gifts he brought filled the crowd of students and educators with as much joy as any three-year-old on Christmas morning.
"I am very excited about, it very excited," Pascagoula School District Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said.
Over the next three years, 23 schools in Mississippi and Louisiana will share in $18 million from Chevron's Energy For Learning Program.
Gulfport Superintendent Glen East says the money will go a long way to helping his district recover from Katrina's devastation.
"We lost a elementary school and we lost our technology center, and so we are trying to rebuild and this grant will go along way in that aspect," East said.
"Based on the request from the school districts, the energy learning grants will make an abundance of educational necessities," Kell said.
Rebuilding schools and equipping them with high tech learning tools isn't cheap. So each district plans to put Chevron's grants to work to improve learning.
"We received over $200,000 today. This money will be used for the Institute of Technology, where will be able to take students from anywhere in the district and take them on virtual field trips," Rodolfich said.
"We are going to install a training lab for the staff and teachers and we are buying active boards. It's like a smart board. We hope to use audio visuals in our social studies and science class," Pass Christian Representative Teresa Burton said.
For the students who came to the presentation, seeing a big corporation give back was impressive.
"It makes me feel important and I makes my school district feel important," student Aaron Saucier said.
For Chevron, the important thing is contributing to the future.