​Taking Action: Energy Audits for Elders

Middle School Students Act Upon Place and Environment

December 11, 2015 |

Dr. Andrea Evans (left), Dean, Governor State University (IL) College of Education and Rural Schools Collaborative board member and Darcy Welsh (right), Mazon-Verona-Kinsman (IL) Middle School science teacher, present Grants in Place poster award to middle school science students during a recent recognition event.

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) recognized a Mazon-Verona-Kinsman Middle School teacher and her students for receiving a grant through RSC’s inaugural Grants in Place program. M-V-K Middle School, as it is known, is located in the village of Mazon, Illinois. Funds for the grant award were provided in part by the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools and individual donors.

M-V-K students and their science teacher, Darcy Welsh, were awarded a $350 grant to conduct an intergenerational, community-based science project aimed at reducing the energy consumption of elders who live in the community. Middle school students will be divided into two teams, with each team being assigned to a select group of elders’ residences. The student teams will then conduct an energy audit on each home and make recommendations on how the occupants can save money by reducing energy usage. Welsh, who authored the grant proposal, will coordinate the project.

Dr. Andrea Evans, Dean of the Governors State University (IL) College of Education and Rural Schools Collaborative board member, made the grant award presentation at the school to Ms. Welsh and her students.

The Rural Schools Collaborative was organized in 2014 and launched in April 2015. RSC believes that community-based instruction, thoughtful collaboration, and targeted philanthropy strengthen the fabric of rural places. Its Grants in Place program is funding 35 innovative projects in seven states.

The organization is currently engaged in 11 states overall with an administrative office in Cambridge, Wisconsin.

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