Lights for Learning has helped Illinois communities learn about energy efficiency and reduce their energy use for over seven years. Now the program is evolving to help schools themselves save energy and reduce their operating costs. Read below to learn about the Lights for Learning awareness and fundraising program and the new Lights for Learning Direct Install Program.
Lights for Learning
Offering Free Educational Presentations and Fundraising with a Conscience
Lights for Learning is a K-12 program that provides free hands-on educational presentations and fundraising opportunities to advance Illinois students awareness of energy efficiency. Students raise money for their school through the sale of energy-efficient products including ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs, LEDs, and other energy efficient products. Through the program, children sell these products (rather than traditional school fundraising items such as candy and gift wrap) by utilizing take-home order forms, organized booth sales at school or community events, or permanent sales kiosks. Participating groups receive 50% of the profit from product sales and top sellers are rewarded for exemplary sales achievements. Periodic contests encourage students to apply their creativity toward creating videos and posters promoting energy efficiency.
Check out stories of how schools have spent their fundraising dollars at Lights4Learning.org!
Driving the Message Home
Lights for Learning provides a valuable platform for educating students, educators, and families on energy efficiency. Program presenters are available for informative and interactive presentations at participating schools, illustrating the tangible benefits of adopting energy-efficient products and simple energy-saving behaviors. Assemblies and presentations focus on the use of energy-saving devices, home energy conservation, and the national ENERGY STAR® campaign. The program also provides educators with a set of lesson plans, materials, and fun activities that are suitable for a variety of subject areas, all centered on the theme of challenging students to reduce their own energy use.
By promoting energy-efficient products and practices in their neighborhoods and through dinner-table conversation at home, the children become educators to their community on energy efficiency. The habits that students adopt through the Lights for Learning fundraiser make energy-conscious and environmentally aware choices an integral part of the rest of their lives.
Flexibility & Experience
MEEA understands that youth-oriented programs need to fit the specific, shifting needs of individual schools. Lights for Learning can be tailored to the participation of a few schools, or dozens. Fundraisers may last for weeks, or can be scheduled around a single event. Eligibility can be extended beyond schools to groups such as park districts and museums, the Boy Scouts of America, church groups, and 4-H Clubs. The specific product mix is revised from year to year, and educators decide whether to use the program's materials, or their own.
MEEA has worked over the past seven years to nurture Lights for Learning from a small pilot, to a broad campaign featuring multiple sponsors and the involvement of hundreds of schools and thousands of students. Lights for Learning has grown with each successive year, boasting high retention of past participants from year to year, and glowing testimonials from students and teachers alike. Best of all, because of MEEA’s extensive experience in running Lights for Learning, program ramp-up and launch can take place in short order.
The Sponsor Connection
Funding for Illinois’ Lights for Learning program is provided by the Illinois Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Lights for Learning is the ideal program for putting a human face on energy efficiency. By enlisting eager youth partners, you avoid getting lost in the swarm of day-to-day advertising. When students speak out in their community with a unified voice, people tend to listen. At the same time, program sponsors gain the benefit of building stronger ties to youth and the community. And of course, educating children on saving energy while they are enthusiastic and responsive is an investment that pays dividends for decades to come.
Where do I get more Information?
For more information on Lights for Learning, email Catherine Krasner, Program Associate, email@example.com, or call her at 312.784.2487. You may also visit the program website at http://www.lights4learning.org
Lights for Learning® Direct Install Program
Lights for Learning has helped Illinois communities learn about energy efficiency and reduce their energy use for over seven years. Now the program is evolving to help schools themselves save energy and reduce their operating costs.
With the Lights for Learning Direct Install Program (L4L-DI), qualified public schools can receive free energy-saving products, such as LED exit signs, green kitchen nozzles, power strips, CFLs and low-flow aerators. This new Direct Install Program is available to public schools participating in the Lights for Learning Fundraiser that fall within Ameren, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, or North Shore Gas service territories. Funding through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Illinois Energy Office, allows MEEA to supply qualifying schools with up to $5,000 of simple to install energy efficiency measures.
The measures and initial audit are free and schools are only responsible for timely and accurate installation. Installation of these simple energy efficient measures can result in substantial environmental benefits as well as savings on your school’s utility bill, reducing your operating costs. See below for the list of qualified measures:
LED Exit Signs: LED exit signs provide the best balance of safety, low maintenance, and very low energy usage compared to other exit sign technologies. LED exit signs use less than 5 watts of power and last over 10 years.
Green Nozzles: An efficient commercial pre-rinse spray can be one of the most cost effective ways not only to reduce water usage but water heating and sewerage costs as well. Conventional pre-rinse spray valves use from 2 to 6 gallons of water per minute, compared to the less than 1.3 gallons of water per minute used by this model.
Energy Efficient CFLs: CFLs use on average 75% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs. These can be installed in your offices, teacher’s lounge, or wherever they are needed.
Low-Flow Showerheads: Low-flow showerheads are capable of providing the same water pressure while using fewer gallons per minute than a conventional showerhead.
Power Strips: An easy-to-use cost-saving technology that reduces the energy wasted by electronics by turning them off automatically, right at the workstation.
Kitchen and Bathroom Faucet Aerators: These high-performance faucet aerators can reduce sink water use by 77%. The aerator only permits a flow of 0.5 gallons of water per minute, saving not only water but water-heating costs.
The Modlet: The modlet is a technology which plugs directly into your existing wall outlet and monitors and controls the energy consumption of your plugged-in devices. The modlet's built in smarts allow it to wirelessly communicate with your PC through a USB receiver. Web-based software allows you to view real-time energy consumption, set schedules for turning your devices off and on, and keep track of your savings.
How can I apply?
If you are interested in signing-up to receive these free energy saving measures or if have any questions on the L4L-Direct Install Program, please e-mail Chelsea Lamar, Senior Program Associate, or call her at 312.374.0924. You may also visit the program website at http://www.lights4learning.org/direct-install.