Fuel Your School delivers standing desks to a corps member’s classroom
November 1, 2019
Chelsea Mercado can tell when a student is losing focus. First there’s the pencil tapping, and then a trip to the sharpener for a pencil that’s not even dull, and finally the long linger by a friend’s work space.
She understands that impulse to move around. Her humanities classes are 85 minutes long, and her students attend physical education just once a week. That’s why she turned to DonorsChoose.org for a solution: Standing desks.
Mercado’s $1,000 request was fulfilled by Chevron’s Fuel Your School program. Six standing desks were installed in her sixth grade classroom at KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy this month as part of a national campaign to improve learning opportunities in public schools.
“I know using these desks will be transformative for some of her students that just need to move and I'm excited to see them in action.”
“By having stand-up desks, my students will have the liberty to stand and walk around in the back of the room, without being a distraction to the rest of the class,” she said. “They can move and stretch while learning.”
Mercado estimates 85 students will use the desks, and the use will be allotted based on need and as a reward.
“Chelsea saw a student need and created a DonorsChoose.org project to fill it,” said Monique McKeown, the Adelante principal. “I had the pleasure of being in her class last week while she was talking about the word ‘privilege’ and working with her students to create shared guidelines around using the desks. I know using these desks will be transformative for some of her students that just need to move and I'm excited to see them in action.”
Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program, which launched in the city of San Diego for the first time this year, helps teachers like Chelsea get the supplies they need for eligible classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org, an online organization that organizes funding for schools in participating markets across the country.
This year, $373,996 was generated through the Fuel Your School program to help fund 511 classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org. These projects benefited 45,214 students at 170 public schools in San Diego.
“On behalf of Chevron, we were very excited to launch the Fuel Your School program in San Diego this year,” said Hector Infante, policy, government and public affairs manager for Chevron in San Diego. “The program has been supporting local communities since 2010, and we’re proud to help deliver much-needed STEM classroom materials and resources to help prepare San Diego students for jobs in the modern economy.”
Mercado is a first-year corps member from Los Angeles and graduated from University of California-San Diego with a degree in psychology. Joining Teach For America was a dream, she said, because she wanted to work with students like herself – students who may come from disadvantaged backgrounds but have unlimited potential.
“We need good teachers serving all populations, not just select neighborhoods,” she said.
One week after the desks were installed, has Mercado noticed a difference?
“The moment students walk in they ask to use the desks,” she said. “Big smiles are on their faces and many students are more focused and on task. I can't wait to see what the data will show and how much growth my students will make.”
“The moment students walk in they ask to use the desks. Big smiles are on their faces and many students are more focused and on task.”