Re-Energizing The Next Generation

Who will lead tomorrow’s local electric co-ops? There’s a good chance it will be someone who learned about electricity when they were in grade school or a young student who received a scholarship when they were in high school. These are just some of the ways that your local Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are encouraging the next generation of co-op member-owners.

Co-ops in the Classroom

Co-ops in the Classroom helps children learn about electricity through hands-on, interactive lessons. The program teaches students ways to conserve electricity, how to be safe around electricity, helps them recognize where electricity comes from and also introduces them to the cooperative business model and cooperative principles.

By learning these concepts from an early age, the kids will be better prepared to make wise energy decisions now and be conscientious consumers of energy in the future. Kylie Schwader, a fourth-grade teacher from Howard, South Dakota, sees how the programbenefits her students. “Co-ops in the Classroom brings in different activities to show the kids how electricity works,” says Schwader. “We really enjoy watching the kids connect with what we’ve been learning in science to what they are learning first-hand from the co-ops.”

Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week

Another way local electric cooperatives support young members is through the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week program. This long-standing program recognizes students for academic achievement, co-curricular involvement and community service. Scholar of the Week recipients are selected each week during the school year and featured on KSFY Television. A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to the Scholar of the Year ‘and recognized at an annual banquet.’ to instead be ‘and two $500 scholarships are also awarded at an annual banquet.

Making the Connection

These are just a few examples of how local electric cooperatives are preparing young members for the future. To learn more about Co-ops in the Classroom, Scholar of the Week or other youth-focused programs, contact your local electric cooperative.

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