Louie the Lightning Bug Is Back in East Texas with Electrical Safety Messages

SWEPCO is bringing its electrical safety education efforts into the classroom through an innovative, interactive educational touring theatre show that actively engages local school children in learning.
            Lights On for Louie is SWEPCO’s fast-paced, action-packed live learning program that involves kids in the subject matter, presents lessons in a way that kids enjoy and helps children remember what they learned about electrical safety long after the show is over.
            SWEPCO has sponsored Lights On for Louie in 40 elementary schools in three states this fall at no charge. Scheduled to host the show locally in NEW BOSTON area is:
Malta Elementary School                6178 W. US Hwy. 82              October 7       8:30 a.m.
Leary Elementary School                Hwy. 82                                   October 11     9:00 a.m.
Using colorful sets and characters in humorous situations, Lights On is designed to teach young people the concepts and importance of electrical safety.
            The producer of this educational program is The National Theatre for Children, a Minnesota-based national touring company. NTC develops and tours educational theatre programs to schools on behalf of corporations, non-profits and municipalities that wish to teach important societal messages for 6- to 12-year-old students in a unique way. Using creative audience participation techniques, NTC performs age-appropriate live theatre and supplies each student and teacher with follow-up curriculum.
            Bradley Hardin, SWEPCO community affairs manager in Texarkana, said bringing Louie to local schools underscores AEP’s commitment to electrical safety and education of young people.       
“Working together, SWEPCO and NTC make it possible for local students to see this program and learn about electrical safety in a fun, exciting way that will help students remember how to play it safe around electricity,” said Hardin.
            Lights On for Louie will be offered to every local elementary school over the next two years. Schools will be encouraged to book the program every second or third year so that all students ultimately will have the opportunity to experience live theatre and learn key electrical safety messages.
            The curriculum materials that accompany the program are used in the classroom to expand on and reinforce electricity and electrical safety concepts. The materials include booklets that students can take home and share with parents to demonstrate and strengthen the youngsters’ understanding.
            During the 2004-2005 school year, more than 440,000 students in 1,400 schools experienced over 2,000 live theatre presentations across AEP’s 11-state service area. Last year, over 12,000 students viewed a National Theatre program in East Texas.
SWEPCO, an operating company unit of American Electric Power, serves over 443,000 customers in East Texas, Northwest Louisiana and western Arkansas. AEP owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and is the nation’s largest electricity generator.  AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid.  The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
            News releases from SWEPCO can be found at www.SWEPCO.com, under News & Issues banner, click on Southwestern Electric Power Company news releases.


Scott Mccloud
Corporate Communications

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