By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ
It was like Christmas morning in the science lab at Ponder Elementary School. Dozens of boxes filled with brand new STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) kits and educational toys suddenly appeared at the school.
Students came to check out the goodies that will make their way to their classrooms for critical STEM-related lessons. The teachers could barely contain their enthusiasm.
“We have not had any kind of STEM things in our school,” said Elizabeth Espolt, Science and Math Specialist for Ponder Elementary School.
These gifts weren’t given by Santa Claus, though – after all it was only September. They were delivered by Whitney Gohlke, CoServ’s Manager of Academic Initiatives, as part of CoServ’s Adopt-a-School program.
“We are honored to support the work that these outstanding teachers do across our service territories,” Whitney said. “Whether it’s a focus on STEM materials, curriculum through our Academic Initiatives or lifting up teachers and students during challenging times, we listen and respond in the way that CoServ knows how. We embrace the school and the community that we are so proud to be part of.”
Ponder Elementary School Principal Emily Manning said the science lab, which hadn’t been used in several years, is now fully equipped for learning.
“It felt like a double blessing because it’s been such a hard year going through the pandemic and the start of this year has been hard,” Emily said. “To see CoServ be able to do that for us has been amazing.”
Other Adopt-a-School perks include developing outdoor learning areas and sprucing up teachers lounges or staff meeting rooms with a little love.
The COVID-19 pandemic did put a damper on Adopt-a-School programs in the last year and a half with many schools not allowing visitors on campus. Whitney and her team of energy education specialists still found a way to make a difference by doing projects outside or when school was out, as they did at Corinth Elementary School.
“Corinth Elementary’s three-year adoption by CoServ was such an asset to students and staff,” said Principal Vangee Deussen said. “CoServ also provided snacks and special meals for our teachers, which was an amazing treat and our teachers looked forward to them.”
What is Adopt-a-School?
CoServ tailors the program to the schools’ needs. The goal is to meet the needs of teachers, students and staff that wouldn’t be provided through the district’s budget.
- Teacher-requested learning materials and curriculum
- Small projects around campus
- Meals and snacks for teachers and staff
CoServ serves 23 school districts throughout our electric and natural gas territory
CoServ adopts 4 to 6 elementary schools each year that meet eligibility requirements
Adopt-a-School is 100% FREE and is one of our main academic initiatives
Learn more at CoServ.com/AcademicInitiatives.