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Local School Involvement

Blue Ridge Electric continues to be a huge part of the community. Involvement in our local school systems is a vital part of our community efforts.

Teach your children well about electrical safety

Electricity is a dynamic power source. We live our lives surrounded by it, but sometimes we forget just how dangerous electricity can be. Many home electrical fires, injuries and electrocutions can be prevented when we understand and practice electrical safety. This is especially true for our youngest co-op members.

Throughout the year, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative offers many value-added benefits to help teach youngsters about electricity. But as your child's first and most important teacher, perhaps it's time to have a talk with your sons and daughters to reinforce those lessons.

Start at an early age, teaching them about the physical dangers associated with electrical components and how to handle electrical plugs, outlets, switches and other devices. Keep in mind, talking to your children about electrical safety should also include fun activities and facts about the basics—what is electricity, the need to respect its power and how to use it efficiently as they study, work and play.

Just remember that what your children learn from you today can be a lifesaver later when they encounter potential hazards like downed power lines in their path, play hide-and-seek behind those big metal electrical boxes in the neighborhood or are tempted to clamber up a utility pole.

Blue Ridge employee, Matt McLane, with young students.

Matt McLane and other co-op employees enjoy meeting with children throughout the year to teach them about the power of electricity and the importance of treating it with caution.


There are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate safety that are as close as the electrical outlet on your living room wall. For example, show young children how plugs work, and let them know that even if they are curious about the slits of an electrical outlet, nothing else should be placed inside. Each year, about 2,400 children end up in the emergency room after suffering injuries caused by inserting objects—paper clips, pens, screws, nails, forks, hairpins, coins and more—into electrical receptacles.

But this isn't the only electrical mishap that impacts youngsters. Our reliance on electronics and gadgets have left both youngsters and their parents at risk when they overcrowd electrical outlets, continue to use frayed wires, place devices near liquids or leave electronics on for long periods of time. Some of the same guidelines Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative offers to protect adults also help protect children. We should all set good examples for our youngsters.

Judging Tomorrow's Scientists

Mrs. Kennedy, Dustin Ahrens, Robby Merck, Rex Ramsay, Amanda Machen, Mr. Kennedy, Susan King and Kathy Ellenburg all served as judges at A.R. Lewis Elementary School’s Science Fair, which was held on December 4. Blue Ridge Electric and the Kennedys are business partners with A.R. Lewis.

Serving a second year as judges at Pickens Elementary’s Science Fair held January 8 are Scott Stegenga, of Table Rock State Park, Liza Holder, Jason Kelley, Beverly Crenshaw and Tim Mays of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative.

Supporting education is just one more way that Blue Ridge demonstrates its commitment to the communities that it serves. Education is a critical factor in the success of our young people. A good education not only impacts the life of the student that received it, it also impacts our economy and affects our standard of living. Judging science fairs is one of the ways that we lend our support to area schools.

As a business partner with A.R. Lewis Elementary, many Blue Ridge employees spend time each month serving as reading buddies or assisting the school in other areas of need. Some of these volunteers were asked to judge A.R. Lewis’s Science Fair on December 4. It's a pleasure as well as an honor to be asked to serve as a Science Fair judge,” said Susan King. “The hardest part about being a judge is being asked to select a winner. There were a lot of really great entries.”

For the second year in a row, several of our employees were also asked to judge Pickens Elementary School’s Science Fair, which was held on January 8. The school’s instructional coach requested that Blue Ridge employees be invited back because they did such a thorough job judging last year’s event. “This was my second year to judge a science fair and I thoroughly enjoyed myself,” said Beverly Crenshaw. “I’m always impressed by the creativity displayed in the student’s projects. It’s fun and sometimes difficult to judge so many wonderful entries.”

A.R. Lewis Elementary School

Fourth grade classes at A.R. Lewis Elementary School in Pickens, made a field trip to Blue Ridge Electric in March. Students received an electrical safety demonstration and learned about how electricity travels to their homes. They were also given a tour of the co-op's facilities and a bucket truck demonstration.

Blue Ridge Electric is Focused on Children

Joining with electric cooperatives from across South Carolina as well as the nation, Blue Ridge recently distributed over 10,000 fingerprint/DNA identification kits to first graders and second graders in its service area.

This unique joint effort among Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, the American Football Coaches Association and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provides parents and guardians with a fingerprint identification tool to help protect their children.  The program, dubbed The National Child Identification Program, is one of the largest child identification efforts ever conducted and provides local cooperatives with fingerprint I.D. kits to distribute among their members and in the communities they serve.

The I.D. kit allows parents to collect specific information, including DNA, by easily recording the physical characteristics and fingerprints of their children on identification cards that are then kept at home by the parent or guardian.

In the event it was ever needed, this I.D. kit would provide authorities with valuable information to assist in their efforts to locate a missing child. We care about our communities and we care about the children in them. Blue Ridge is pleased to be part of a “grass-roots” effort to help protect our most precious assets—our children.

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