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What connection is there between Baton Rouge and crayons?

2 months 4 hours 30 minutes ago Friday, March 31 2023 Mar 31, 2023 March 31, 2023 9:21 AM March 31, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Each year, March 31 is recognized as National Crayon Day, which is a day for kids and adults to pick up a crayon and open their imagination.

There is a connection between Baton Rouge and the billions of crayons around the world, and crayons are integral in the learning development of young students.

“For the little ones the first thing that they start off with is holding it," said technology and arts teacher at Villa Del Rey Elementary School Breanna Lewis. "Even more than that they are learning how to express themselves, so you’ll have kids that won’t even talk to you but they can pick up a crayon."

According to Lewis, her one art class goes through thousands of crayons each school year. Across the entire school, they use about a quarter of a million crayons in a single school year.

“Crayons are definitely the building block,” she said.

The capital city and the more-than-100-year-old art utensil used all around the world share a connection: paraffin wax.

“Pretty important element that you need for crayons is wax, and I’m proud to say we make wax here at this refinery,” said Jessica Valet, who works with that wax as a specialties process operator at the Exxon Baton Rouge refinery.

Valet says the refinery in Baton Rouge makes about eight million pounds of wax for crayons each year through an oil manufacturing process.

“Then it heads out across the country to become crayons, candles, and any number of other products,” said Valet.

According to Valet, the refinery's eight million pounds of wax turns into about 7.5 million crayons per day.

While Exxon makes the wax that goes into crayons all around the country, students just like the ones in the art class at Villa Del Rey get to take full advantage of the color.

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