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EnerStar sparks learning during a visit from area fourth graders

The safety of our members is important to EnerStar Electric Cooperative. So throughout year, your locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative does its part to promote consumer education about how electricity works and how to prevent electrical accidents. We consider it part of our responsibility to the communities we serve to make sure people of all ages respect electricity and know how to be careful around it. A perfect place to spread the word is with the youth in the communities we serve.

“Teaching electrical safety at a young age ensures those lessons and concepts will remain with the children as they mature into adults,” said EnerStar’s Angela Griffin. “Events like these are an important part of EnerStar’s mission. It gives us a chance to showcase the cooperative’s role in the community while educating our youth on the proper way to handle an electrical emergency.” 

This year’s event was attended by Paris Crestwood, Paris Wenz, Martinsville, Paris St Mary’s and Shiloh. The cooperative covers all transportation costs for the schools. “We realize school budgets are tight and feel because this event is so important, it is money well spent,” added Griffin.

The main part of the program is the Live Line Demo by Daren Daverman, who works at an electric co-op in Bloomington, Ill. His display contains 7,200 volts of electricity and is constructed with the same poles, transformers and line hardware used by EnerStar, but he takes his lesson further as he teaches the children what happens if someone were to get into a power line or if a car they are traveling in hits a utility pole. With the use of props such as a fake squirrel, a hot dog and a balloon, Daverman taught the children about the many dangers of electricity and how to be safe around it.

The Live Line Demo was followed with the personal testimony of EnerStar member Delmar Bell, a Paris farmer who was injured in a power line accident over 30 years ago. The accident caused Bell the loss of his arms. Bell explains that he participates in the event because, “I want young children to learn from my mistake. I never knew the slogan ‘Look up and live.’” 

The impact of Bell’s personal testimony gets the students’ attention.

“We really appreciate Delmar attending the EnerStar Safety Day each year,” said Griffin. “I admire the fact that he took this tragedy and turned it into a positive experience. His message not only drives home the importance of being safe around electricity but also teaches the children a lesson on perseverance.” 

ABOVE: Journeyman Lineman Chad Cornwell and Apprentice Linemen Chase Graham and Austin Swango participated in the EnerStar Safety Day. In this fun session, they allowed the children to try on equipment, enjoy a pole climbing and bucket truck demonstration, and played a tug-a-war game as they pulled a transformer up a pole.

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