By Renee Larr
Each year Vectren, an energy and natural gas delivery corporation in Indiana, takes its safety message into elementary schools with the Energy Safe Kids Program.
“Vectren’s ESKP is in its ninth year. Our partnership with the National Energy Foundation allows us to get into these fourth grade classrooms and spend about an hour there with them, educating the students on natural gas safety as well as our Call Before You Dig message,” said Tracey Bryant, manager for Damage Prevention and Public Awareness. “So the kids can understand what all the different flags and paint around the neighborhood mean when they see them. It gives them a better understanding when they do see those things.”
Participating students were given a take-home report card, of sorts.
“A big piece of this is a report card. It’s kind of like an energy report card. They send it home with the students, and it’s a piece they cover with their parents at home,” Bryant said. “The take-home piece will ask them questions like, do they use natural gas in their home? Are they making sure their furnace doesn’t have clutter or toys around it? Is the gas meter free of debris? Just general safety concepts.”
Vectren takes all the returned energy report cards and chooses eight random winners, who each receive a Kindle. Jacob Hoghess of New Britton Elementary was one of the statewide winners.
“He was really surprised. He didn’t know he was the winner. His teacher and parents were in on it. We came in and talked about the Energy Safe Kids program and asked if they remembered what happened if you returned the form, and they were all really excited,” Public Awareness Specialist Kelli Martin said. “We announced the winner as Jacob. He thought he was in trouble because his parents were there, which was pretty cute. He was really excited and thankful.”
For more, visit vectren.com.