FORT LORAMIE — Fourth-graders at Fort Loramie recently received a $500 grant from Vectren after winning first place in the Vectren Energy Safe Kids (ESK) competition.
Vectren ESK is a program designed to encourage fourth grade students to be conscious of energy sources and to learn ways to stay safe around them, whether at home, at school, or outside.
According to teacher Laurie Nosek, representatives from Vectren visited her fourth grade class during the fall of 2018 as part of the program. After teaching the kids about energy safety, the representatives presented to them a challenge, through which the students were invited to write and illustrate a book about natural gas safety.
“Every year, we have a representative from Vectren come in and talk to the fourth-graders about natural gas safety,” Nosek said. “The competition has been going on for many years, but this is the first year that my students have even tried to do it.”
The students were given a 12-page blank template and were tasked with writing a story, along with original drawings, on how to be an “Energy Safe Kid.”
According to Nosek, students Avery Bergman, daughter of Keith and Amy Bergman, and Tessa Boerger, daughter of Kevin and Gina Boerger, were the ones who created the book.
“We all brainstormed, and the entire class gave ideas, but (Bergman and Boerger) were the two that actually sat down and put pen to paper,” she said. “They spent weeks writing and re-writing, editing, and drawing pictures.”
Nosek said the two girls worked on the book diligently for one and a half to two months, working during “silent reading” times, and even skipping recess and meeting after school in order to make get the project just right.
“They really got into it,” she said. “It was phenomenal to see how much work they put into it.”
Nosek said Vectren representatives returned in February to let the class know they’d won, to give them each a published copy of the book, and to present the grant, which Bergman and Boerger accepted on behalf of the class.
“The class is pretty pumped about it,” she said. “They’re all really proud.”
Nosek said the class competed against 493 classrooms, from 143 different schools, across Indiana and Ohio.
As for where the grant money will go, Nosek said the students have chosen to use it for a few different things, including the purchase of new bean bag chairs, books, and games for the classroom, as well as a bowling party, set to take place at the end of the school year.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.