Marathon continues tradition of helping students in St. John

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012



RESERVE – Select students from East St. John Elementary School and Garyville/ Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet who were in need of help in getting supplies for the upcoming school year received a leg up Monday as representatives from Marathon Petroleum’s Garyville refinery donated school bags and other supplies

About a dozen Marathon employees spent Monday morning delivering 180 school bags stuffed with supplies to students at both schools as part of an annual donation program put on by the refinery. On Friday, the group also delivered bulk supplies like hand sanitizer, paper towels, paper and binders to the two schools.

“It’s 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,” said Marathon Community Relations representative Aspen Steib. “The new school year is all about starting fresh, and everyone deserves to be on the same page.”

Steib said Monday’s delivery marked the fifth year that Marathon has been able to donate supply-filled backpacks to students in St. John the Baptist Parish, which is part of the company’s adopt-a-school program that involves schools across the parish.

“Education is the No. 1 priority of our community outreach efforts,” Steib said. “Our employees invest much of their time in the local schools. In addition to monetary awards, we are involved in mentoring programs and science demonstrations because we want our local students to be skilled in math and science so they can have the best opportunity to succeed in their education and beyond.”

East St. John Elementary Principal Texx Galloway said the supplies will be going to select students across all grade levels who came to school in need of supplies to make it through the year. He said teachers in each grade level make recommendations.

“Not everyone has the means to get what is needed,” Galloway said. “We hear all the time from parents and from teachers. This donation goes a long way toward giving those students the boost they need.”

Galloway said Marathon has been an “adopt-a-school” partner with East St. John Elementary for almost 15 years, adding that the school and the refinery often work together.

“They are always there for us with anything we need,” Galloway said.

Along with with Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet and East St. John Elementary, Steib said Marathon Petroleum also has an “adopt-a-school” relationship with East St. John High School. She said each school is presented with a $15,000 grant each year. The refinery also contributes $1,000 each year to each of the other public and private K-12 schools in St. John Parish.

“We’re thrilled to partner with our local schools to encourage and help as many parish students as we can,” Steib said.