Co-ops provide funding for school programs in the communities they serve

Germantown Elementary (From left to right) Teacher Rose Wilken, Special Education Teacher Kristine Beer and Kindergarten Teacher Cheri Markwell accepted a $1,500 check from CCEC Representative Carrie Trame.

From the beginning, electric cooperatives were formed to serve members of their own communities. In the years since these organizations were created, the ways co-ops serve have multiplied. Today, it is not only safe and reliable electricity they provide, but also, in partnership with associated organizations, vital support in the form of educational grants to fund innovative programs in local schools. Here are some recent examples:

  • Clinton County Electric Cooperative awarded $4,000 in Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants. Eight classrooms in six local schools received funds to help with educational projects.
  • Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association awarded Classroom Empowerment Grants in the amount of $500 each to 10 local schools, funding a number of projects, including assistive technology for special education, vermicomposting, a STEM project “Maker Space” and a drone club.
  • Monroe County Electric Cooperative awarded 15 Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants, each in the amount of $500, for a variety of projects at area schools. Projects include a duck house build, a podcast, an outdoor classroom, an archery physical education and enrichment program, electric circuit LED greeting cards and an environmental catamaran.
  • Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative utilized CoBank’s Sharing Success grants to assist schools in its area. In 2023, $20,000 was donated to three local school districts to fund education programs, including science and lab kits, music equipment, art supplies and more.
  • SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative distributed $4,600 in Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants to four schools in its service area for the school year.
  • Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative awarded Touchstone Energy Classroom Empowerment Grants to teachers for seven projects at local schools. Those projects include acoustic noise control panels, various reading programs, the construction and installation of raised flower beds at assisted living facilities in Johnson County, VR technologies and STEAM kits.
  • Tri-County Electric Cooperative awarded Classroom Empowerment Grants to eight teachers at local schools. The grants provide funding for both projects and materials at local schools.