Dow Supports Teachers Through DonorsChoose
Public school teachers in 10 Southern Brazoria County communities have a new way to get enhanced science resources for their classrooms. They simply go to the website DonorsChoose.org to post a description of what they need. Members of the public make online contributions, and a new partnership with Dow helps to push them over the top.
The partnership has already helped launch two fully funded projects, including supplying robotics equipment to first-grade students at Fleming Elementary School in Freeport, Texas – where a Dow employee now volunteers regularly to help the students benefit as much as possible.
“My students will be able to work with hands-on activities in small groups as young scientists and engineers, helping each other to investigate and understand how motorized mechanisms work,” teacher Melissa Nichols-Vorpe said in her DonorsChoose.com appeal.
Nichols-Vorpe’s funding request attracted several public contributions, which were matched by Dow through its new partnership with DonorsChoose.org. The company has committed $25,000 to such matches for teachers from Angleton, Brazoria, Clute, Danbury, Freeport, Jones Creek, Lake Jackson, Richwood, Sweeny and West Columbia. In addition, Texas Operations STEM Ambassadors, the company's trained employee volunteers, will identify select science projects that can draw from a separate $10,000 fund. Beyond that, local Dow employees will be given $15,000 in DonorsChoose.org gift cards to help fund classroom projects of their choice.
“Dow is committed to Building the Workforce of Tomorrow in our local communities and empowering our educators, as they have the ability to spark excitement for science in our students and expose them to STEM-related careers,” said Rob Vallentine, director of Dow Global Citizenship and president of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. “We are also excited that this partnership supports Dow's 2025 Sustainability Goal, ‘Engaging Employees for Impact,’ as it allows our employees to support teachers and provide much needed classroom supplies.”
Prentice James is a perfect example of that employee engagement. As a Dow STEM Ambassador, he has been working with the Fleming Elementary robotics students.
“We have witnessed tremendous growth from our little ones in the areas of focus, ingenuity, teamwork, and communication,” reported James, senior regional Environment Health & Safety specialist for Dow in Lake Jackson, Texas. “I am looking forward to future semesters and opportunities to assist in the nurturing of our students through this worthwhile endeavor.”