press release

Texaco Press Release - Texaco Foundation Awards $360,000 to Houston-Based Early Childhood Music

Focus On Music And Science Education Aims to Improve Student Learning


HOUSTON, Jan. 13 -- The Texaco Foundation today announced an unprecedented $360,000 in contributions to three Houston community institutions in support of Texaco's two signature philanthropic programs, Early Notes: The Sound of Children Learning and Touch Science: Hands-on Learning For Kids and Communities.

Commenting on the new signature programs, Anne T. Dowling, President of the Texaco Foundation, said, "The Texaco Foundation believes in the capacity of strong music and science programs to better prepare the future workforce. Research has shown that comprehensive music education, introduced across the curriculum in the earliest grades, improves student learning. Similarly, we know that hands-on science lessons are the best way to build a lifelong interest in science among young children. Texaco funding in both of these program areas is intended to stimulate creative changes in curriculum and improve community and parental involvement with the schools."

The Houston Museum of Natural Science received a grant in the amount of $230,000 under the Touch Science program, which establishes community collaboration between the Foundation, the Museum, Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the National Science Foundation to expand their Science Stars program. The grant will provide the means to train 325 second-grade teachers in 65 Houston schools to use innovative, hands-on curriculum to teach students the basics of science.

"Also, we are grateful for Texaco's contribution to our Science Stars program," remarked Museum President, Truett Latimer. "This program has been well received in first grade classrooms for a number of years and we are thrilled to have the chance to see it expand into second grade classes. Our goal is to excite young minds about science and this program will aid teachers in their quest to stimulate students with scientific discoveries."

The Children's Museum of Houston received $80,000 for their Parent Stars program. Through hands-on Family Fairs hosted at community-based organizations, Parent Stars will create a model for partnership between schools, parents, and community organizations which will support family learning and show families how to become involved in their child's education. Because the Children's Museum is recognized as an accessible place for learning that engages children, and is trusted by Houston parents, the Museum is the ideal organization to initiate Parent Stars.

"The Children's Museum is committed to helping parents understand and support the critical junctures in the life of a child. One such juncture is entry into the public school system," Tammy Kahn, Executive Director of The Children's Museum of Houston, said. "Texaco's grant will enable the Museum to give parents a framework through which to build an understanding about their child's education and to become more involved. There are distinct vocabularies, school cultures, teacher/parent interactions and opportunities for informal education. If parents are not introduced to these concepts and given the tools to understand them, then their involvement in their child's education will be less rich."

A $50,000 music education grant was issued to the Houston Grand Opera for its Students Through Arts Reaching Success (STARS) program. The goal of the STARS program is to enhance the development of musical knowledge and skills with the specific purpose of improving student academic performance. STARS is active in nine Houston schools, six of which are in the HISD, and includes students from first through fifth grade.

"We are pleased that Texaco recognizes the importance of long-term partnerships between schools and arts organizations," said David Gockley, General Director of Houston Grand Opera. "We are also grateful because these funds will allow us to continue our award-winning STARS program."

The two Texaco Foundation signature philanthropic programs are being introduced in various HISD elementary schools. Speaking on the importance of math and science education, Dr. Rod Paige, HISD Superintendent said, "In a time when technology is becoming increasingly vital in the workplace, it is important to equip our children with the math and science skills necessary to succeed in life. HISD will continue to raise its academic standards to an unprecedented level thanks in part to our friends at The Texaco Foundation."

Established in 1979 under the sponsorship of Texaco Inc., the Texaco Foundation supports non-profit, tax-exempt organizations both in the United States and other countries in which Texaco operates.

Updated: January 1999