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

AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (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 30 elementary schools in three states this spring at no charge. Scheduled to host the show locally in DAINGERFIELD is: West Elementary School 1305 W. Watson Blvd. March 7 1:00 & 1:30 p.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 451,000 customers in East Texas (167,000 here), Northwest Louisiana and western Arkansas. AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP is the nation’s largest generator of electricity, owning more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, which includes 39,000 miles of transmission lines. The company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2006. --- 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
Communications Consultant