Top Star Express gives $500 grant to Brandywine for science

Patriot photo by Alyssa Shields Brandywine Heights Elementary School Assistant Principal Karen Long and Superintendent Andrew Potteiger, right, receive grant from Top Star Express employees Monica Bradford and Jessica Fulmer.

Brandywine Heights Elementary School received a $500 grant on Jan. 28 to be used toward science or math program.

Andrew Potteiger, Superintendent, expressed his gratitude for the grant. This is wonderful that we can get grants likes this, he said.

Top Star Express employees Monica Bradford and Jessica Fulmer presented the grant to the school. Fulmer nominated Brandywine for the grant. Her daughter attends the elementary school, which is right in their back yard.

In the past, this store has nominated other local schools such as Gateway Christian School and Kutztown Middle School in an effort to help all those in our community, said Bradford.

We reach out with our managers, and look at what schools in the area we would like to donate to, said Bradford. We at Exxon, we really want to get involved within the community.

ExxonMobils Educational Alliance Program is a nationwide opportunity for local retailers like ourselves to give back to the communities in which we serve, said Bradford. We were very fortunate to have this many winners this year!

The $500 Educational Alliance Grant is designed to be flexible and is left to the discretion of the school officials as to how to use in their math and/or science programs, said Bradford.

According to Bradford, Top Star Express is a family owned and operated convenience store chain that operates under Exxon, Shell, or Valero fuel. They own 38 convenience stores, mostly located in the Lehigh Valley. Of the 38 different locations, 22 offer Exxon fuel. Out of the 22 Exxons in the area, 17 of them were given the opportunity to present local schools with grant money, said Bradford. About 7,500 schools nation wide receive this grant.

During the Brandywine Heights School District budget meeting on Jan. 27, there was discussion of a tight budget and fixed costs. According to Potteiger, the budget for the school this year may include restrictions towards the school, so the grant is a great opportunity to add something to the curriculum.

The bottom line is helping kids. Thats why were here, we want to give the kids as many opportunities as we can, said Potteiger.

The science curriculum at the school was chosen for the money to support. However, the curriculum is currently undergoing a process of evaluation. According to Potteiger, this process essentially determines if the learning development is up to standards and makes sense to students. Once we figure out what we should be teaching based off of the standards, then well go through and look at what resources we can use to support that, said Potteiger.

Right now, the school does not know what the money will be used for in regards to the science program.

When we get revenue streams like this, that are like wonderful gifts, we look at what is the best impact we can have with those dollars for children, Potteiger said.

Alyssia Shields is an intern for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter at heyitslyssa14.