CITGO donations totally $12,000 have helped support the creation of Hightower Elementary School’s outdoor classroom.
On Monday, April 30, Hightower Elementary School students, teachers, and administrators – alongside many community partners – dedicated a brand new outdoor classroom made possible by donations from CITGO Petroleum Corp. and the local CITGO Doraville Terminal.
“It is vital to give students educational opportunities to engage with the outdoors,” said Sheila George, principal of Hightower Elementary School. “The outdoor classroom is an ideal complement to traditional classroom learning. Now, instead of relying on photos of plants and flowers in textbooks, we can bring students outside to get hands-on. I can’t thank CITGO enough for helping us fulfill our vision.”
Through donations totaling $12,000 since 2014, CITGO helped support the construction of Hightower Elementary School’s outdoor classroom, which seats approximately 35 students and features a resting observation area. The space also includes a weather-protected whiteboard, a victory garden, bog garden, pollinator garden and composting station. Now, four years after its initial donation, CITGO Doraville Terminal representatives will be present for the dedication ceremony as the classroom is completed and opened to students.
“Supporting quality education – especially STEM education – is a core commitment of CITGO,” said CITGO Doraville Terminal Manager Vincent Brumelow. “Doing our part to make sure the next generation of this community is inspired toward STEM careers will ensure a vibrant and prosperous future. We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Hightower Elementary School.”
The Georgia Department of Education-Certified STEM school is closely linked to the Doraville Terminal. Over the past 15 years, the CITGO Doraville Terminal has been actively involved with Hightower Elementary School, supporting major projects like the outdoor classroom, as well as achievement-based school supply donations.
Throughout the company’s operational footprint, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline initiative has awarded more than $1.3 million toward programs that promote the importance of STEM education and provide educators with the resources they need. Together with nearly 20 STEM partners, CITGO has touched the lives of nearly 20,000 students and educators across its regions.
Hightower Elementary School first opened its doors in 1958. The school has grown in many ways since that time. The student population has grown along with its wonderful diversity. Hightower comprises over 30 different nationalities and is well known for its ability to embrace and celebrate diversity in all that it does. Although its students come from many different backgrounds, as a school, they rally around one motto:
“The mission of Hightower Elementary School is to provide a standards-based instructional environment grounded in integration of curricular content, and writing across the curriculum to promote seamless learning opportunities that increase student achievement and ensure that students transition to middle school without the need for remediation.”