TVA, Local Power Companies Take Energy Efficiency Message To Elementary Schools For A Second Year
Nov. 4, 2009
TVA is partnering with local power distributors again this school year to get the message to young children about the importance of saving energy.
This fall, 120,000 children at 300 elementary schools in the Tennessee Valley are attending performances of “The Energized Guyz Daylight Savings Crime,” a new 25-minute play written especially to teach energy-saving actions to school children during the 2009-2010 school year.
Performed by actors on tour from the Minnesota-based National Theatre for Children, “The Energized Guyz Daylight Savings Crime” not only provides interactive entertainment for kids K-6, but also educates them about energy issues that TVA and local utilities are facing.
The Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, which represents all distributors of TVA power, is supporting the education effort for the second year.
“Educating children in the TVA service area about issues we’re facing for the second year in a row seems to be paying off,” TVPPA Energy Services Committee Chairman Frank Jennings said. “Last year when this program was initiated we said that kids will go home and encourage their families to become more conscientious. Whether directly related or not, distributors of TVA power throughout the Valley have seen an increased interest in energy efficiency programs for homes.”
TVA Energy Efficiency Delivery General Manager Cindy Weiss agreed.
“Teaching our young stakeholders about the need to conserve energy should pay off down the road,” she said. “They will be more likely to practice what they’ve learned in their adult lives.”
Ward Eames, who founded the National Theatre for Children more than 30 years ago, said his research shows that colorful printed materials given to children and teachers at the performances make it to the students’ homes 75 percent to 92 percent of the time.
Weiss said the education program helps set youth on a path to encourage ways to improve the environment and preserve resources for future generations.
TVA’s Environmental Policy, adopted by the TVA Board in May 2008, calls for the public utility to strive to have at least 50 percent of its generation portfolio derived from low-carbon and zero-carbon sources by 2020. TVA continues to take steps to reduce or avoid carbon emissions, including adding up to 2,000 megawatts of renewable and clean energy generating capacity by 2011, completing a second nuclear unit at Watts Bar and increasing its energy efficiency programs.
The “Energized Guyz Daylight Savings Crime” story still revolves around hero “Nikki Neutron” having to solve a problem quickly. There’s a new villain for this year’s play, ‘the Dragonfly,’’ who’s bent on teaching everyone how to waste energy. In fact, the more people use energy unwisely, the bigger the Dragonfly gets!
With help from other characters in the play, Nikki Neutron learns in about 20 minutes what he needs to know about energy and why it’s bad to waste it. He has those messages repeated to him several times before he understands.
The theater company’s founder said that repeating messages is a teaching technique developed over the years that works very well with children.
In the end, Nikki recruits a student volunteer from the audience who helps him teach the Dragonfly the importance of conserving energy and how to do it.
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also creates economic development opportunities and manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
Jim Allen, Knoxville, (865) 632-7453
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000