LyondellBasell’s Victoria plant kicks off inaugural pen pal program

Employees make connections with autistic students

The Victoria Plant of LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB), one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, is using pen and paper to interact with students at The Vine School, a special program for children with autism spectrum and related communication disorders.

Employees recently began exchanging letters with students – ages 7 to 15 – to help with social and literacy skills, while building lasting friendships.

“The Vine School delivers the type of sensory and visual learning these children need and the students there hold a special place in our hearts,” said Greg Cannon, site manager for LyondellBasell’s Victoria Plant. “These letters open doors to new experiences and new voices in the children’s lives and it enables us to give in a way that has a lasting impact.”

Employees and students exchange letters monthly and will meet face-to-face in May right before the school year ends.

“I get some much joy from communicating with our new friends at The Vine School,” said Leila Galvan, environmental engineer for LyondellBasell’s Victoria Plant. “I know children with autism and related communication disorders can sometimes have difficulty making friends, so providing students with this experience is one of the most rewarding efforts in which I’ve been involved.”

The Vine School uses multiple teaching techniques to reach students. The school aims to ensure students learn meaningful social interactions – among many other things – and the pen pal program is one way of doing so.

“This is a wonderful way for our students to learn more about the world around them while working on their fine motor, literacy and social skills,” said Erin Hatley, executive director of The Vine School. “The Victoria Plant’s pen pal program will help our students in a significant way and is something they will remember and carry with them for a lifetime.”

Last year, Victoria Plant employees, contractors, families and friends helped make a playground safer and more sustainable for students at The Vine School during the company’s annual Global Care Day. More than 45 volunteers refreshed the playground’s landscape, decorated fencing and constructed a new storage shed. Additionally, volunteers painted donated chairs and made activity boards to help children develop their motor skills.

At its Victoria Plant, LyondellBasell produces high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a plastic used in food packaging, personal care products and textiles. For more information, .