Marathon Oil believes the foundation of a strong community is a quality education system. As part of the company’s investments in education, we place an emphasis on literacy because the inability to read and write can impact every aspect of a person’s quality of life – and the journey to learn to read begins in early childhood. Populations at-risk for unemployment, low educational attainment, and lack of access to healthcare overlap with areas where low literacy rates are highest.
So, in 2017, Marathon Oil partnered with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF) to create the My Home Library program, which gives children the books they need to develop reading skills that will create a pathway to success in life. Through the My Home Library program, elementary school students receive a personal “home library” with a number of new books at no cost to the student or their school.
In the spirit of supporting literacy in the communities where we live and work, we recently hosted home library distribution events at six elementary schools across the country – three in the Eagle Ford in south Texas, one in Carlsbad, N.M., one in Lindsay, Okla., and one in New Town, N.D.
Marathon Oil, the BBHLF, and the schools’ leadership teams have designed the events to build the students’ excitement for reading through special activities, incentives, and read-alouds from Marathon Oil volunteers. During this year’s events, Marathon Oil distributed more than 10,000 books!
The pilot program began with 600 students at a local elementary school in Houston. Since the launch of the program, Marathon Oil has provided more than 15,500 books to students’ home libraries and the Foundation is now serving more than 25,000 children annually. In December, the Foundation will celebrate the distribution of their 100,000th home library.