Safety-Month-winners1Emily Carlisle and Hayden Leventis will enjoy fond memories of their fourth-grade years when they see their artwork on Midwest Energy Cooperative billboards in June.

Emily, a student at Sam Adams Elementary and daughter of Jeremy and Aryn Carlisle of Cassopolis, was the southwest Michigan winner of Midwest Energy’s Safety Month contest. Hayden took the honors in the southeast Michigan district. He is the son of Tommy and Michelle Leventis of Tecumseh and a student at Madison Elementary.

Over 800 fourth grade students and teachers from across the co-op service territory were introduced to electrical safety in April as part of the annual contest, including classes from Cassopolis, Marcellus, Edwardsburg, and Dowagiac Schools in southwest Michigan, and Sand Creek, Clinton, and Madison in southeast Michigan. Students learned about safety equipment used by linemen, what items conduct electricity, and what equipment is in place to protect the public and the lines. Following each presentation, students designed a poster depicting something they learned. The winning image from each service area was printed on t-shirts provided to all students, and posted on billboards over the summer.

The contest is part of Midwest’s ongoing commitment to educate the community about electrical safety. “Electricity is such an integral part of our lives that we tend to forget the inherent safety concerns involved with the flow of current,” says Patty Nowlin, director of communications and community relations. “Midwest Energy is strongly committed to creating a culture of safety, both for our employees and for members of our community, and our public safety programs are one way we promote awareness.”

Midwest offers electrical and propane safety programs for any group or organization. Programs are free, adaptable for various audiences and timelines, and can be conducted at Midwest or an off-site facility. Two different programs are available based on the age of the audience. For more information about safety programs, please contact the community relations office at 800-492-5989.