Clipper Staff Writer
CENTERVILLE — There was a buzz of anticipation as the students in Wendi Stringfellow’s fifth grade class opened the packages.
“I’m totally excited and so are they,” said Stringfellow of her students. “This is better than Christmas.”
But it wasn’t toys or clothes in the boxes students were opening, it was math manipulatives, and as soon as they were open they were put to use.
“Math is my favorite subject,” said Sean Titensor, a student at Centerville Elementary.
The tiles and games in the boxes made math even better, he said, “because you can see what you’re making and you can understand what you’re doing.”
Officials from Chevron watched with smiles as the students tore into their new projects.
In fact, it was a $400 grant from Chevron, through DonorsChoose.org, that brought the math manipulatives to the Centerville Elementary classroom.
“It’s fun to see them engaged,” said Greg Hardy, manager of public affairs for Chevron. “Hands-on learning is the most effective way.”
He told students he hoped the manipulatives, which included equation tiles, protractors and decimal grids, would help them do even better in school, and said he and his team would look forward to hearing how they did through the year.
In a program entitled “Fuel Your School,” Chevron will donate $1 for every eight gallons of gas purchased in October at participating Chevron and Texaco stations in Salt Lake and Davis counties.
Projects requested by teachers on DonorsChoose.org, will be reviewed and selected for funding.
The site matches classroom needs with corporate and individual donors.
About three-fourths of the projects have been funded, but more are yet to be filled and teachers are encouraged to submit their requests to the site.
It is estimated that most teachers spend an average of $300 to $500 on classroom supplies and the DonorsChoose site helps by finding interested parties to help finance the little extras that make a big difference.
Most requested items are science and math magazines, magnifying glasses, calculators, safety goggles and owl pellets, according to the release.
Last year, 614 projects totalling $499,978 were funded by Chevron in 208 Utah schools, reaching a total of 53,095 students, according to a press release.
“Teachers know what works and what they need, and how best to enhance learning in their classrooms,” said Hardy.
With the new math manipulatives, students can “touch them and use them and prove to me what they know in math,” said Stringfellow.