Pence students exceed goals
Students and staff at Pence Elementary School celebrated the success of a three-month energy challenge May 6.
The students were charged with saving 2,577 kilowatt hours, 6 percent of their energy usage from last year. The school saved nearly 4,500 kilowatt hours, 10.6 percent of their energy usage from last year.
“The kids said it was really easy,” said Pence principal Christopher Welch. “We spoke about that, how when we work together, it becomes very easy to achieve these goals.”
In January, Pence school started a schoolwide program to reduce its energy usage. As part of the program, “Power Teams” of students help to remind and congratulate people about positive energy saving behaviors. To do this, they leave red and green stickers around the school. The green stickers say, “Good Job!” and the red stickers say “oops” with a reminder about saving energy.
From the beginning of February to the end of April, Fairfield’s Hometown Rewards Program sponsored an “energy challenge.” As part of the challenge there were monthly assemblies focusing on a different theme. During the first assembly, Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, Sustainability Coordinator Scott Timm and Welch introduced the concept of energy savings and Fairfield’s “Go Green” plans, kilowatt hours and Power Teams.
The school’s first Power Team handed out re-usable bags filled with energy-saving tips. The Power Teams change each month and consist of kindergartners through fifth graders.
The second assembly brought the National Children’s Theater production of “The Energized Guyz and the Conservation Caper” to Pence; a comedy program designed to teach children about energy and water conservation.
The 25-minute skit consists of characters such as Nikki Nuetron, Cape Cod, Tech Guy and supervillian Dr. Maybe. The show described energy and electricity, renewable energy, water conservation techniques and energy efficiency.
Iowa nonprofit Trees Forever presented the third assembly. Trees Forever field coordinator Emily Swihart gave an interactive presentation on the benefits of trees.
After the assembly, students planted 25 trees made available by a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Trees Forever.
At the end of all their hard work and learning, Fairfield’s Hometown Rewards Program and Pizza Hut provided the school with a pizza party.