Needy students get beginning-of-year boost from Marathon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011



GARYVILLE – Select students from East St. John High School and Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School who were in need of help in getting supplies for the just-started school year received a leg up Friday following a donation from Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery.

About a dozen Marathon employees spent Friday morning and afternoon dropping off more than 180 school bags stuffed with supplies at both the schools as part of an annual donation put on by the refinery. Marathon community relations representative Aspen Steib said both schools received about 90 school bags and other supplies for the year.

“It is a chance for us to get out into the community and help out students and families who may not have enough to get what is needed for the school year,” Steib said. “The new school year is all about starting fresh, and everyone deserves to be on the same page.”

In addition to the bags, full of pencils, markers, paper, notebooks, calculators and other classroom necessities, Marathon also donated bathroom tissue, paper towels and nap mats for the schools to use. The group was at East St. John in the morning and GMMS later in the afternoon.

“Not everyone has the means to get what is needed,” said GMMS Acting Principal Glenn Chenier. “We hear all the time from parents who don’t want to send their kids on the first day because they don’t have everything. We tell them to come anyway because we can always make it work. This donation goes a long way toward giving those students the boost they need.”

Chenier said the bags were going to select students across all grade levels. He said teachers keep a running list of students who may be missing some supplies, and those who don’t have the proper materials are first on the list.

“Whatever isn’t given away to students is kept in the classrooms as spare supplies when needed,” Chenier said. “There is always going to be an opportunity where a student forgets a notebook of something else for the day.”