Georgia’s Electric Cooperatives Receive Rare Education Award
(JEFFERSON, GA. May 18, 2018) – The Georgia Retired Educators Association (GREA) recently presented its coveted Education Contributor Award to Georgia’s 41 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs), including Jackson EMC, signifying GREA’s highest level of recognition for non-educators.
“The Award is presented in recognition of, and in deep appreciation for, all that the electric co-ops have done over decades, individually and collectively, to enhance public education in Georgia,” said GREA Treasurer Dr. John Upchurch.
Jackson EMC partners with school systems in our area to support activities that enhance the educational experience for students, including support of regional Science Olympiad tournaments; robotics programs; Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) initiatives; the annual Washington Youth Tour; programs offered through local 4-H and FFA chapters; and agricultural-education programs, including the annual Jackson EMC Quality Beef Show. Additionally, Jackson EMC has given more than $165,000 in Bright Ideas grants to middle schools since 2014.
During the 2017-2018 academic school year, Jackson EMC employees visited more than 45 schools presenting safety demonstrations, teaching energy efficiency lessons, judging science fairs, reading in classrooms, sharing career advice, and mentoring at-risk youth. Also, Jackson EMC is proud to serve as a Partner In Education company for schools across our 10-county service area.
GREA’s Education Contributor Award is reserved for individuals and organizations that make significant, sustained and specific contributions at the highest levels. It also is awarded sparingly, having been presented on just three occasions since GREA’s founding 60 years ago: to Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A and the Chick-fil-A Foundation for their immense scholarship program, to former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller and the Miller Institute Foundation in recognition of the HOPE Scholarship, and to Robin Ferst, founder of Ferst Readers, for distributing more than five million free, age-appropriate books to many of Georgia’s youngest children.
“This award is a big deal,” said Upchurch. “The EMCs have earned our respect and appreciation.”
During GREA’s annual convention that attracted 500 attendees, Upchurch applauded Georgia’s 41 EMCs for being exceptionally supportive of education for decades and donating significant sums over the years in addition to providing a wide range of in-kind donations and services, volunteer assistance, expertise, and advice on a broad range of issues important to schools, teachers, and students at all levels.
Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Ga. The cooperative serves more than 227,000 meters on 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.
Photo (l-r): Georgia EMC’s Vice President of External Affairs Bill Verner accepts the prestigious Education Contributor Award on behalf of Georgia’s 41 EMCs from Dr. John Upchurch, treasurer, GREA. The Award has been given just three times previously in GREA’s 60-year history.