Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

EOE-2017-Winners Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

This year’s 28th Annual Explosion of Excellence will be held in May at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus. This program honors the academic achievements of the graduating high school seniors who are in the top ten percent of their classes in all area high schools in Jackson County (including the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science). The Explosion of Excellence is a program jointly sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and all high schools in Jackson County. It is a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

The public is encouraged to consider a $250, $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship—all of which are 100 percent tax deductible. These scholarships are donated by the public to encourage these students to consider employment in Jackson County when their education is finished. The public can help honor these students by writing a check to the “Gulf Coast Community Foundation/Explosion of Excellence” and mailing it to “Explosion of Excellence, Post Office Box 480, Pascagoula, MS 39568-0480.”

EOE-2017-Winners Scholarship Program Honors Top Ten Percent of Graduating Seniors in Jackson County

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The Chairman of this year’s Explosion of Excellence is Pat Descher of the McDonald’s Descher Organization, and the Co-Chairman is Dr. Bill Descher. The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen.

For more information, please call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email Valerie Dedeaux, Administrative Assistant, at

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Success at the 29th Annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show

With an estimated attendance of around 1,500 people, the 29th Annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show was a great success. The one-day event provides an opportunity for members of the Jackson County business and industrial communities to connect and build professional networks. It is this valuable opportunity that keeps many vendors coming back to the Trade Show year after year.

Unknown Success at the 29th Annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show

Business Development Specialist Melanie Landsiedel of Chevron was Chairwoman for the event, and Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias was the keynote speaker. Cuccias spoke about Ingalls’ commitment to strong partnerships throughout Jackson County and the Gulf Coast, from industrial suppliers to local businesses and community organizations.

Carla Todd Voda, President and CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with this year’s event.

“This year’s 29th Annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show was a huge success,” said Voda. “The attendance was steady throughout the day, and the majority of the attendees from industries, purchasing departments and industrial suppliers were the decision makers of their companies. Mr. Brian Cuccias, Ingalls Shipbuilding President, shared some very interesting and encouraging news during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Our exhibitors look forward to being a part of all of the wonderful things that are in store for Jackson County in the upcoming months.” 

The Jackson County Industrial Trade Show is one of many examples of economic and community support in the area throughout the year under the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, the Jackson County Industrial Suppliers Association (ISA) meets every other month at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. The ISA is sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber’s Small Business Issue Manager Group. Programs are designed to provide ideas and information that give business people additional resource knowledge and new business opportunities.

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Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron Present $25,000 Check to Excel by 5 at “Read to Me” Event

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Rapiscan Systems Classic and Chevron presented a $25,000 check to Excel by 5 this morning at their “Read to Me” event. The event was a partnership between the three organizations, and the generous donation will support our Gulf Coast Excel by 5 communities and early childhood literacy programs. 

The event featured PGA TOUR Champions professional Rod Spittle and his wife, Ann Spittle, who read the book Love Is All Around Mississippi to a group of twenty preschool children. Each child was given a Curious George story book autographed by Spittle.

Spittle will compete in this week’s Rapiscan Systems Classic, a tournament focused on early childhood education. They promote tips for reading to children with their free admission ticket, which doubles as a child’s bookmark. One side features helpful tips to engage young readers, like pointing out letters and words. The other side provides information about the tournament’s Chevron Family Day and Junior Clinic this Saturday, March 24th.

Excel by 5 was founded to benefit pre-K children by providing families with much needed resources. The innovative program emphasizes the important roles played by parents and early childhood educators during a child’s most formative years — from birth to age 5. They use research-based practices and enhance existing resources to optimize the care and education of young children. As a result, children are better prepared to enter school happy and healthy, with the skills they need to succeed.


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Audubon’s Master Naturalist Class Now Open for Registration

master-naturalist-class Audubon's Master Naturalist Class Now Open for Registration

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The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is starting 2018 off right with their Audubon Naturalist Volunteer Training program.

The program allows community members to take part in an exciting and insightful class at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. The Audubon Naturalist Volunteer Training program is designed to expand participants’ understanding of our local environments. The course stays true to the center’s educational mission of connecting people not only to nature, but to our own region’s unique ecology.

Participants in the program are taught about the basic processes that formed and affect the landscape around them, the habitats and organisms that make up and live within the landscape, and the key social and environmental issues affecting the environment. The underlying theme of the Audubon Naturalist program is that habitats exist and function as integrated parts of the overall landscape. As such, the program is habitat-based and focuses attention on the major habitat types in the area where volunteers are trained. The end results are volunteers that are well-versed in local natural history.

The Master Naturalists finish the course ready to teach others about natural history in Mississippi- so they become incredibly helpful and confident volunteers at any number of sites along the Coast. “We can’t run our Center without their time, knowledge, and energy- we utilize their talents for everything from teaching summer camp programs to creating new displays to put on exhibit to planting native plants on our grounds”, said Erin Parker with the Audubon Center. “We offer the course twice a year, once during the winter/early spring and a second in the summer so that teachers can take it for credit during their brief summer vacation!”

“What’s great about the Master Naturalists is that they can help us with all kinds of things, from teaching to native plant landscaping to citizen science projects”, says Parker. “Some of them come weekly, some monthly, some complete projects at home that we incorporate into our exhibits or grounds. And after they’re trained, they might also volunteer at one of the many other sites across the coast- from the Grand Bay NERR to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuge to the Crosby Arboretum”, she said. 

This program is based on the Mississippi Master Naturalist Program, developed by Mark W. LaSalle for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. The program began in coastal Mississippi in 1998 with support from the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery. The Audubon Naturalist program is also supported by Chevron. The program expanded into north Mississippi in 2005 with additional funding provided by a grant from the North Central Mississippi Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Natural Resources Initiative of North Mississippi.

The class costs $250 for non-members of the Center and $225 for members. It includes ten days of teaching, 4 books, and a giant binder of materials, plus all the field trips. “We feel that it’s a great value for people that are interested in really learning about our coastal habitats and ecosystems” said Parker. 

The Naturalist program for winter 2018 will take place on Wednesdays running from January 17th through March 21.Parker mentions how the program is a series, and everything builds on the previous class. While there is a different focus each week, everything is interconnected. Participants get to learn everything from geology to weather to plants to wildlife and get to take field trips to a wide range of ecosystems along the Coast.

To register for the Master Naturalist class, fill out the registration form on their site. Please contact Erin Parker at 228.475.0825 or for more information.

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January is National Blood Donor Month

blood-donate January is National Blood Donor Month

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Throughout January, the American Red Cross is celebrating National Blood Donor Month and recognizing the generous individuals who roll up a sleeve to help save lives. The winter months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs, and this winter is proving to be a challenging one. John McFarland, Executive Director of South East Mississippi’s Chapter of the Red Cross, says blood is always needed, but winter is when they experience the greatest shortage. 

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Inclement winter weather – like what the U.S. is experiencing so far this year – often results in cancelled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.

The Red Cross urges healthy donors who have made a commitment to donate during the winter months to keep their appointments. Each appointment kept, and each donation given, offers hope to a patient in need. McFarland says there are 22 blood drives scheduled along the Coast this month.

“Every 3 seconds someone is needing blood”, he added. “Blood is something that can’t be synthesized or manufactured, so it’s important that there’s an inventory of blood available in the hospitals”, says McFarland.  

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Donors with blood types O negative, B negative, and platelet donors are especially encouraged to make an appointment to give.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting or, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.

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Donate Used Shoes to Help Change Lives Around the World…And Here at Home as Well.

Used shoes, we all have them. Heck. I have a wife and 4 daughters. They all have approximately 300 pairs of shoes each (slight exaggeration, maybe). I probably have at least 8 pairs. I have work boots, dress boots, casual boots, 2 pairs of dress shoes, tennis shoes, sandals, no-slip work shoes, and maybe another pair or two i can’t recall off the top of my head. Most of them i rarely, if ever wear. Now we find ourselves at Christmas time and many people will be receiving even more shoes. If only there was a place we could donate some of those old shoes. Well, there is. 

I want to offer a message of hope, especially for you men out there who may be drowning in your wife’s shoe collection. If you are like me, the top of our closet is filled with shoes, there is a rack at the end of the dresser that holds approximately 10 pairs, and some weird contraption that hangs on the back of the bathroom door with another 36 pair.

shoe2-154x300 Donate Used Shoes to Help Change Lives Around the World...And Here at Home as Well.

I’m at a point where i either need a shed in the back yard, a rental semi trailer set in the yard, or a climate controlled storage building to house the untold number of shoes that is constantly growing in my house. That’s just my wife’s collection. I won’t even take the time to regale you with the number of shoes my four daughters have. I’ll just illustrate it like this; I have often had the nightmare (i think it would make a great movie) that some weird asteroid lands in my back yard putting off some weird radiation that causes the shoes in my house to come to life. These shoes then overwhelm my family and take over the earth, like some type of indestructible zombie apocalypse, except with shoes. Yeah, the dream is kinda weird, sorry.

Any way. If you’ve had the same fear, or you’re just in need of some space of your own in the house, i have the perfect news for you. The MOPS group in Ocean Springs desperately wants your used shoes. They will take all of the donated shoes to a group called . This group will pay MOPS for the shoes, repair them and give them to poor families in developing countries who will then sell them to provide a living for their families. Wah-lah! You are instantly a hero, to people in Jackson County, and around the world! A word of caution however. If you decide to donate shoes without your wife’s knowledge, make sure you’re grabbing shoes from the back of the closet, not those nearest the front.

You may ask now, “Who is MOPS, and why do we want to help them?” Great question. It is not some top secret government organization plotting to take over the world via a mutant shoe army (this is the sequel to the first movie). MOPS stands for “Mothers Of Pre Schoolers.” Any mother that has preschool aged children can participate in this group. MOPS serves several functions. They meet twice a month, providing support, encouragement, brunch (childcare provided), mom’s nights out, whole group play dates, as well as service opportunities throughout the year. In essence, they help mothers maintain their sanity while also helping them plug back into the community, with other adults. If you have ever had small children, you know that this ministry probably saves untold thousands of toddler lives every year, as well as preventing thousands of mothers from having to spend time at the “nervous hospital.” Both of those are good for all of us.

Donating shoes will help MOPS better serve the mothers of our community, while also helping people around the world offer a living for their families, and help uplift their communities. If you have shoes you’d like to donate, and we all know you do, the following explains drop off locations and times.

MOPS will be collecting shoes from January 9th-April 9th. The following locations are the collection points:

St. Paul United Methodist Church, East Campus 6716 Bienville blvd, Ocean Springs

St. Paul United Methodist Church, down town campus, 800 Porter Ave. Ocean SPrings

McClendon Medical Clinic, 1161 Robinson St, Ocean Springs.

Please rubber band the shoes together or tie them together with a piece of string (do not tie the shoes laces together in a knot). For more information about the drive you may contact the group directly at . You may also check them out on Facebook. They are Ocean Springs MOPS (

For more information about MOPS in general you can visit their website .

So, from the Ocean Springs MOPS group, JaxCoHome, and myself, we wish you the very Merriest Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Birds and Brews

Screen-Shot-2017-12-20-at-3.18.31-PM Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Birds and Brews

December 21 marks the start of the winter season, and the Pascagoula River Audubon Center is celebrating the evening with birds and brews.

From 4 to 7 p.m., participants can enjoy a guided hike to look for and listen to the center’s beloved Great Horned Owl pair, enjoy a solstice bonfire, play seasonal trivia and welcome the official start of winter. The event will also include local beer, wine, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Pascagoula River Audubon Center Programs Manager Erin Parker said the event is an opportunity for members and those who have never been to the center before to experience what the center does in a unique way.

“We always say it’s a really fun date night,” Parker said. “It’s also a nice way for adults to come without having to watch the kids – a great adult-only visit to the Center.”

Parker said participants can drop in at any time during the 4 to 7 p.m. timeframe. In addition, she said the the Great Horned Owl pair is always a great attraction for this annual event.

“This is one of our most popular Birds and Brews events,” Parker said. “The owls are really active in the evening, and it’s fun for people to go out and look at the owls and listen to them.”

In addition to the guided owl tour, participants can also tour the whole Center, including the art show from the Center’s Plein Air Art Festival earlier this year. The artwork is all done by local artists, and each of the pieces was created in the one-day festival.  

Parker said this will be the last event for 2017, and the events will continue on a quarterly basis with different themes beginning in 2018. 

“We’d like to encourage anyone who’s considering visiting the Center for the first time to come out,” Parker said. “It’s a great way to see the Center and interact with staff. We get a lot of members who come to these events, which we love, and we’d also like to encourage new folks to visit as well.”

Prizes are available for winners of the trivia game, and the night will end with a bonfire outside if the weather permits. Parker said the event is set up for those who’d like a more relaxed evening.

“It’s a nice way to kick off the weekend,” Parker said. “You can stop by, relax, and get some downtime before the holidays.”

The cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members. This event caters to those 21 years of age and older only. For more information, call 228-475-0825.

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Tips and Resources for Taking Care of Premature Babies from a Local Pediatrician

drgphoto Tips and Resources for Taking Care of Premature Babies from a Local Pediatrician

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November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, a time for families nationwide/in Jackson County to think about the health of expectant mothers and babies, and about how to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. 

According to the March of Dimes, Mississippi has the highest rates of premature births in the U.S. at 13.6%. March of Dimes notes Jackson County is at 10.4%, which is still higher than the national average. Having multiple births also increases the chance of prematurity. March of Dimes also mentions that close to 60 percent of all twins and more than 90 percent of triplets are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). 

Dr. Yolanda Gutierrez of Pascagoula’s Pediatric Care Center is one of the leading and most caring pediatricians on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After completing her rotations through general medicine, Dr. Gutierrez discovered her passion for working with children and thus completed her internship and residency at the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Over her 25 years in private practice, Dr. Gutierrez has worked with a number of premature babies as her patients. Gutierrez shares some helpful insights on common myths and tips she gives to parents on premature babies and their care.

Myth #1: “Premature babies are the same as average-sized ones- they’re just smaller” 

Many people believe a premature baby can behave the same way an average-sized baby can. They think because they were born early that you just have to be more gentle with them. This is not the case at all. Care for premature babies is much more precise and strict than that of a non-premature infant. 

“Premature babies are born with immature lungs and come out with a number of different problems that have to be addressed not only immediately, but also long term”, says Gutierrez. 

Premature babies are also prone to developing infections because their immune system is not fully developed. 

Myth #2: “Premature babies can be fed like an average child” 

When your baby is first born, the healthcare team may give them fluids and nutrition through an intravenous (IV line) if they are extremely premature or have breathing difficulties. Alternatively, the doctors may decide that they are mature enough to take milk through a small tube that is passed through the nose into the stomach. Breast milk is the best choice for your baby. 

It is important for milk feeds to be introduced in a timely way – not too quickly but not too slowly – and your doctor will have the expertise to decide this. This progression must be very gradual because premature babies – especially those born at 34 weeks or less – are slow to cope with milk that goes into their stomachs and have more problems with absorbing nutrients. “It’s important to advise these parents on correct feeding and determining how much is too much and what exactly is the right amount for their child”, says Dr. Gutierrez. 

Myth #3: “It’s safe for premature babies to be around other people and out in public”

Parents of premature newborns face even more worries about their baby’s health. Due to immature immune systems that haven’t completely developed, preemies have an increased risk of catching viruses that may be nothing more than a nuisance for us, but can be potentially life threatening to them. Some of these risks can be avoided by understanding when it’s safe to head out with your baby or invite visitors over, and when it’s best to stay inside and away from the crowds. 

“They can’t be around other sick kids or adults”, says Gutierrez. “Viral illnesses are a top concern with premature infants and that is one of the main reasons why our clinic has 2 waiting rooms- one for babies and one for general”, she said. “Parents can trust that they don’t have to risk their babies getting sick from other children in the clinic”, said Gutierrez. 

Overall, it’s important for women to take care of their health and nutrition while carrying their child. “Diabetes, high-blood pressure, smoking, drinking and doing drugs are all factors that increase the risk of an early delivery and premature birth”, said Gutierrez. 

The Pediatric Care Center supports local organizations and groups within the community for premature babies. Gutierrez mentions how the clinic often donates to the March of Dimes and participates in fundraising events to help spread awareness and inform the community on premature babies. 

“The care we offer for the parent and child is state of the art in terms of excellent care”, she said. “It’s given with a lot of compassion. All of our staff love these children and have a passion for helping them”, said Gutierrez. The Pediatric Care Center truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child and parents need the combined teamwork of the family and the child’s pediatric clinic. “We want our parents to trust us when it comes to helping raise their children and make them feel like we are also a part of their family”, she said. 

For more information on the Pediatric Care Center, visit their website at


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Mayfield Family Shares Story of Miracles for Prematurity Awareness Month

488020_644211508943800_4214605_n Mayfield Family Shares Story of Miracles for Prematurity Awareness Month

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Hanna and Matt Mayfield are familiar faces in Pascagoula, Mississippi. With Matt co-owning ‘Goula’s famous, Tay’s BBQ a lot of people recognize the family name and their deliciously famous menu items. However, they are also known for their survival story of their two little miracles.

November 17 is recognized as World Prematurity Day and serves as the focus of the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Awareness Month observance each year. The Mayfield family relates to this day as they recall the miraculous story of the birth of their premature twin daughters.

In October of 2011, Hanna Mayfield was taken into emergency c-section at USA’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Mayfield says there was no explanation as to why she went into labor so early, but prepared to face the reality of giving birth to premature twins. She was only 5 months pregnant at the time, barely mid-way through her 2nd trimester. 

Bowen and Taylor were born at 22 weeks and 5 days and were considered to be ‘micro-premies’- weighing even smaller than a typical premature baby. Bowen weighed 1 pound and Taylor 15.3 ounces. “Their lungs weren’t working like they were supposed to- it was a lot of treatment and things to keep an eye on every hour, every few hours”, says Mayfield. 

But the family decided to remain positive with lots of prayer and trust in the top-rated NICU center at Children’s and Women’s. “Every one of the doctors and nurses at the hospital are angels”, she said. “Being able to do their job with a smile on their face, while helping these parents is incredible”, says Mayfield. In fact, USA’s NICU center is one of the only local hospitals to give babies born before 24 weeks a chance to survive by putting them on a ventilator. “If we lived in any other city, we may have not been accepted into a hospital to keep our babies alive”, she said. The babies remained in the NICU for the next few months, with Taylor having additional complications and surgeries which kept her there for a total of 7 months. 

The challenge of having premature babies doesn’t stop at the hospital. After bringing the girls home, Matt and Hanna were given strict schedules and guidelines to follow to ensure they were being taken care of properly and would remain healthy. Parents of premature babies have to take caution when bringing them home due to their low immune system. “We couldn’t go out in public and they advised against bringing people around our babies”, said Hanna. “They even told us, ‘If you go out to the grocery store and come back, you have to shower and change clothes before you can even hold your baby'”, she said. The family had to be conscious of every move they made to ensure the girls’ health remained in good state. 

After many routine checkups, the girls caught up to their appropriate weight and grew to become wonderfully excelled children. The twins recently celebrated their 6th birthday last month. “They’re healthy, thriving in school, running around and taking dance lessons-perfectly normal little girls”, said Mayfield. “We could have easily had many difficulties with the girls, but we were fortunate they grew up without any problems”, she said. “I think it’s just being aware of germs, being mindful of their low immune systems and sticking to the plan the nurses and doctors give you is the reason for it”, says Hanna. 

According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 10 women will give birth to a premature child. Like the Mayfield family, many women, including those in Jackson County, will face the difficulty of having premature children. “It’s very easy to get down and depressed that you can’t hold your premature baby like an average-sized one”, says Hanna. But she encourages families who are facing this, “Keep your chin up, stay positive, pray and get your prayer warriors around you”, she said. 

For more information on World Prematurity Day or the March of Dimes, visit their website



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Chevron’s Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Chevron’s Fuel Your School program came to a close last week after successfully donating $50,000 to Jackson County schools to help teachers fund their projects with 

Last week, JaxCoHome asked Jackson County teachers to tell us what projects or items they needed for their classroom. These items could include a new microscope, books, computers- anything that encourages learning in the areas of S.T.E.A.M. Chevron believes that effective education including Science, Technology, Engineering the Arts and Math (S.T.E.M.) will foster bright young talent for the future workforce and healthy economic growth for the country. 

We had almost 30 submissions from teachers who needed a variety of items, but 5 winners were chosen who best fit the needs within each part of S.T.E.A.M. Each winner received a $100 gift card to be redeemed on the site to help fund their project. Our ‘Science’ winner was Brieanna Bean with the Jackson County Technology Center. Brieanna teaches high school students interested in the healthcare field as a career. Bean’s project needs included hands-on science/life health kits that helped the students get a real-feel experience of working and studying in the medical field. “The kits allow them to see the enzymes working, as they would in the gastrointestinal tract, of the future patients these students will be taking care of; the actual work the kidneys do in filtrating the blood”, says Bean. “The seeing of the process makes the process of learning significantly easier”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bean’s project became fully-funded, so the students dream of having these kits will now become a realityIMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Brieanna Bean’s Class at Jackson County Technology Center

Our ‘Technology’ winner is Mrs Oreta McMillan’s robotics students at Vancleave Upper Elementary. The 5th and 6th graders compete in robotics competitions with VEX IQ kits. “These DASH robots will allow our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to practice coding and allow them to prepare for future robotics events”, says McMillan. “The tablets will allow them to download APPS to help them program and control the robot”, she said. After receiving her gift card, McMillan’s class now needs $700 to be fully funded for their project. To donate to the project, visit this link:

IMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Oreta McMillan’s class at Vancleave Upper Elementary

The ‘Education’ winner is Bridget Mudgett at St. Martin Upper Elementary. Mudgett’s Donors Choose project asked for a class set of the novel, Wonder, for her 5th graders. “My students love to read!”, said Mudgett. “They stay after school for book club, give up recess time to volunteer in the school library, and walk to the public library in a small town that’s not very ‘walkable'”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bridgett’s class has also reached their project goal of $360! “We’re so grateful for this gift card! Now my kids can finally engage like never before”, she said. 

Our ‘Arts’ winner is Casie Duffy with Moss Point High School. Duffy’s class needed several iPads for her art class. “With this funding, it will allow my students access to art history research, graphic design experiences, and expand their capabilities as artists by incorpoarting a technological aspect”, says Duffy. 

Last, but not certainly not least, the ‘Mathematics’ winner is Lorraine Boleware and her class at Eastlawn Elementary. Boleware teaches special education, but is in an inclusion setting with the general education students. She primarily works with 3rd grade, (Reading gate) and fourth grade (MAAP) state testing classes. “These students must reach the same benchmarks as students who do not have special needs, but they are working and they are trying”, says Boleware. “I have found that the biggest hurdle right now is in multiplication facts for my students. I would like to use different resources that may help them increase their fluency and give them a firm foundation to build on for the rest of the standards in math”, she said. After applying her gift card, Boleware’s class still needs $500 to fund this project. You can donate to this project by visiting the following link: Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Lorraine Boleware’s class at Eastlawn Elementary

JaxCoHome would like to thank all of the participants for submitting their projects. “We are so happy we were able to help fully fund 2 of the 5 project winners”, says Chelsea Gee, a representative from JaxCoHome. “This opportunity would not have been possible if it weren’t for the people at Chevron and their consistent efforts to help their local schools”, she said. 

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