US independent Hess has committed $9 million to fund educational programmes and support services for children in three economically disadvantaged communities in Houston as part of its Learning for Life Partnership.

The partnership helps over 20 schools and more than 13,000 children from pre-kindergarten through high school in Houston’s Third Ward, Magnolia Park-Manchester, and Second Ward Complete Communities neighbourhoods.

The investment helps expand the scope and reach of the company's Learn, Engage, Advance, Persevere — or “LEAP” — educational programme, a $7.4 million investment over the past eight years to support students in the Magnolia Park and Second Ward neighbourhoods.

Hess employees will also volunteer time and expertise to support these programmes.

“Our company has a proud history of social investment programmes that make a positive and lasting impact on the communities where we operate,” said Hess chief executive John Hess.

“In partnership with (Mayor of Houston Sylvester) Turner’s initiative, we are delighted to expand our commitment to provide children in the neighborhoods adjacent to Hess Tower in downtown Houston with the academic and social resources they need to reach their full potential.”

Learning for Life grants are made through the Greater Houston Community Foundation to various non-profit organisations to address needs identified by the mayor's Complete Communities initiative, aiming for all Houstonians to have equal access to quality services and amenities.