Students and teachers at Oklahoma City's Mark Twain Elementary are accustomed to seeing Devon professionals on site nearly every day throughout the school year. The company has partnered with the inner-city school for more than 10 years to provide one-on-one tutoring, funding and additional resources to enhance the student's education.

Devon provides time off work and transportation for employees to tutor each week during the academic year and each year hundreds of employees volunteer their time.

In addition to tutoring's academic benefits, students also learn to communicate with adults, are motivated to excel and enjoy a consistent role model in their lives. Many of the students struggle with English as their second language and live in impoverished neighborhoods.

“The children look forward to the day they are tutored each week," Sandy Phillips, Mark Twain Elementary principal, has said. “Devon tutors are making such a positive impact on our students. Their self-esteem and behavior has improved and test scores have increased."

Devon also provides uniforms, playground equipment and books for students. Ballroom lessons are funded by the company to help students gain confidence and leadership skills. Devon employees volunteer at the school's fall carnival, send Valentine's Day treats to the classroom and purchase additional books for students to read during the summer. In addition, Devon annually hosts holiday parties and picnics at Devon Energy Center, which provides opportunities for students to see their tutors in a professional environment.

The relationship extends far beyond the classroom. During the holidays, students are treated to a private performance of “A Christmas Carol" and receive complimentary ice-skating tickets for their families. Devon's support also provides an opportunity for students to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and other local organizations.

Once on the school district's “at risk" list, Mark Twain Elementary has earned a reputation for rigorous academic standards, strong discipline and a faculty that embraces innovation and creativity in teaching. Devon's support is making a difference for these students, as well as employee tutors.