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PASCAGOULA -- Chevron donated the last installment of the $18 million Energy for Learning program earlier this week, which handed out more than $1 million in grants to 11 South Mississippi school systems, as part of an initiative to help Gulf Coast schools recover from Hurricane Katrina, The Mississippi Press reported.
The most recent grants were distributed to school districts in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties in the state, by Roland Kell, general manager of Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery, according to the report.
"As we all know, the education of our children is critical to their development and to our nation," Kell told the paper.
Each recipient district received $105,122, completing Chevron's pledge of $318,000 total for each of the four Jackson County school districts, the report stated.
The program's initial award totaled $3 million in grants given in December 2006 to 16 school districts in six southern counties.
The Pascagoula school district used the money to implement a new elementary English program, purchase new digital whiteboards and offer more after-school training for teachers and access for student to computers in its Center for Teaching and Learning, according to the report.
Ocean Springs schools used the money to fund a program to teach children how to respect themselves, peers and adults, Edna Waller, assistant superintendent for the district, told the paper.
"We saw a decrease of 25 percent on our discipline reports," Waller said.
The district also used funds to apply for the International Baccalaureate Programme, which is a college-level course of study for high school students, according to the report. The first class utilizing the program will graduate in 2010.
The Jackson county school district used funds to move a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer to the district's main office for teacher training, purchase digital whiteboards and provide wireless Internet access in classrooms, the newspaper reported.