Chamber Members Supporting Education

May 25, 2016

Whether it’s supporting a school bond proposal, partnering with individual schools in special educational programs, collecting bottled water to be delivered to schools after a major waterline break or providing a demonstration or experiment that motivates students to love science, members of the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce have long been great supporters of education in our community.

During the month of May, the Chamber will once again demonstrate that support as they lead two exciting and worthwhile educational endeavors.

On May 17, a new program initiated by the Chamber’s Education Committee will kick off at Memorial High School.

The program is being named “Gifted Communicators.”  It is an initiative with a goal that is twofold - to develop academic vocabulary and to enhance academic performance through English Language Development.  The idea for the new program came about when PAISD Superintendent Mark Porterie made a presentation at the Port Arthur Education Foundation’s State of the Schools Luncheon.  A key message that Dr. Porterie delivered at the luncheon was his genuine concern for English Language Learning students who had the difficult challenge of passing mandated exams in the English language.


Upon learning that there was an urgent need for assistance to Spanish speaking students that are not yet fluent in the English language, a core group of the Chamber’s Education Committee chaired by Vickie Derese met with Dr. Porterie and Mrs. Marcia Sharp, the Multilingual Facilitator for PAISD, to discuss any opportunities where chamber and other community volunteers might be able to assist.  With key involvement from Chamber Board Member Elizabeth Cravens, the idea has quickly moved toward a program that has the potential to be very beneficial to these students by giving them a better opportunity to succeed in school and in life.  An informational meeting is planned for parents and Memorial English Language Learning students going into 9th through 12th grades.   All information will be provided in Spanish and will include a sampling of the proposed curriculum design and instructional support programs available for the initiative.  The meeting will be held May 17 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Memorial High School Auditorium.

On May 19, the Port Arthur Education Foundation is hosting the STARS Banquet where ten students from Memorial High School and two students from Sabine Pass High School will be honored for their outstanding academic achievements.  Approximately 200 guests are expected at the event where the students will share the evening with their parents as well as the teacher they feel has been a very important influence to them.  Scholarships will be presented to each student.


Just last year, the Port Arthur Education Foundation was recognized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation and presented eleven teacher grants totaling nearly $10,000 for innovative educational projects not otherwise funded by the district. 



5/17       Business of the Month Plaque Presentation-FivePoint Credit Union-8:30am

5/19       Morning Business Connection-McAllister’s Deli-7:30-9:00am

5/19       Port Arthur Education Foundation-STARS Banquet

5/20       Grand Opening Fiesta and Ribbon Cutting-Stripes Convenience Store (9th Avenue)-11:00am

5/24       Chamber Leadership Breakfast  with Texas State Representative Dade Phelan – Holiday Inn Park Central – 7:30 a.m.

6/1         Ribbon Cutting-Firehouse Subs-10:00am

The Port Arthur Greater Chamber of Commerce celebrating 116 years of service in our community.

For more information or to join the Chamber, contact Paige Snyder - Chamber Membership Director at 409-963-1107.  Visit our website at


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