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Henderson Oil Co. awards $6,500 in school grants

Henderson Oil Company awarded a total of $6,500 in 2019 ExxonMobil Educational Alliance School Grants to 13 Henderson County Public Schools on Wednesday, supplying elementary, middle and high school principals with extra funds for necessary materials and programming.

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Bruce Drysdale, Clear Creek, Dana, Edneyville, Glenn C. Marlow, Hillandale, Mills River and Upward elementaries; Rugby Middle; East Henderson, Hendersonville, North Henderson and West Henderson high schools each received $500 to fund school-specific local programs supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

Bruce Drysdale intends to spend its funds on math resources in English and Spanish to support its Dual Language program, and Hillandale will be building a math manipulatives library for students to “check out” hands-on materials to skill build at home. The grants will provide technology to support a brand new drone class and expand Adobe motion graphics and visual programming courses at North, as well as materials for Rugby Middle’s engineering club and Project Lead the Way classes.

Clear Creek, Dana, Glenn C. Marlow, and Upward elementaries will use the grant to pay for STEM resources, including supporting Dana’s first ever STEM Night for parents and families. Both Edneyville and Mills River elementaries plan to use their grants for robotics teams and programs, while the funds will support science lab materials and upgrades at East Henderson.

The $500 grants are annually awarded on a first-come, first-served basis through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program, as local ExxonMobil Distributors apply for them on behalf of schools.

“These grants continue to be as popular as ever, with 4,400 grants totaling $2.2 million being spoken for in about an hour,” said Henderson Oil Company President Bill McKibbin.

Since 2000, Henderson Oil Company and ExxonMobil have provided $239,750 in education grants to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Of that number, $133,250 has been awarded to schools in Henderson County.

Superintendent Bo Caldwell thanked Henderson Oil Company for annually supporting local educators by giving them access to tools to enhance STEM education, and called them members of the HCPS Family.

“We look at not just our school system as a family, but our community as well,” Caldwell said. “We join arms and get things done … and it takes community partners like you.”