Occidental Gift Helps Create UC Merced Summer Program For School Kids In Kern County

Merced, CA — A grant of $25,000 from Occidental Petroleum Corporation has enabled UC Merced to offer a special summer program for kids from Elk Hills Elementary School in Tupman, California.

Thirty-five students in first through eighth grade are enrolled in the one-month program, which began on June 11. Students are learning about such subjects as leadership, computer applications and English language development. The children have also been taken on special field trips to the Long Beach Aquarium, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and UC Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Mission and Botanic Gardens.

"This program is broadening the horizons of kids in Kern County thanks to the generous support of Occidental Petroleum," said Helen Sullivan, director of the Division of Professional Studies at UC Merced. "This kind of outreach to the K-12 sector is an important part of our mission - to help augment the academic experience of kids of all walks of life."

Sullivan said teaching children about computers and leadership at an early age can help them improve their grades - and eventually help them make the decision to go on to a college or university.

Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum is a large multinational company with worldwide interests in oil and gas exploration and in production and the manufacture and marketing of basic and specialty chemicals. The company employs a multi-national, multi-ethnic workforce numbering approximately 8,800 worldwide, and has a major presence in Kern County.

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