KINGSTREE, S.C. – Thirty educators gathered in the Santee Electric Conference Center last week to learn about educational opportunities offered by the co-op. The group represented 18 schools, all grade levels and each of the four counties in the Santee Electric Cooperative service territory.

The event was the first gathering to give schools the chance to learn about the programs accessible to teachers and students, according to a media advisory.

“This was so great,” said Adrian Filyaw of Johnsonville Elementary School. “I was not aware of several of these opportunities and definitely plan to take advantage of them. We’ll also pass on the information we gained today to administration and teachers in other grade levels.”

The teachers and school officials learned of scholarship, grant and art programs. There was discussion of a graduate course for teachers and free trips for students, the release said. Santee Electric, along with all co-ops in the state, sponsors a website filled with energy lesson plans and bags of personal items for homeless students. Employees of the cooperative visit classrooms to talk about careers, work experiences and equipment, such as digger derricks and bucket trucks.

The co-op programs are not always taken advantage of, and deserving students have missed out on scholarships and educational experiences, the release said. It is the goal of Santee Electric Cooperative to make certain to spread the word about these programs so students can benefit as much as possible.

“Ensuring that tomorrow's workforce is well educated is critical – for the future employees of Santee Electric Cooperative, specifically, and for the economic development and prosperity of the communities we serve, in general,” said Santee Electric president and chief executive officer Rob Ardis. “For these reasons, we remain committed to our schools – educators, counselors and students.”

Santee Electric is a cooperative and operates by the seven cooperative principle. Principle No. 5 is education, training and information. Principle No. 7 is concern for community. It is this need to educate and concern for community that prompted the co-op to host such an event, the advisory said.

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