Power Challenge

Kyrene de Milenio Interim Principal Carrie Furedy hangs a poster promoting the Kyrene Power Challenge on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Part of a new sponsorship program, the Kyrene School District was able to save more than 1.5 million kilowatts in energy this past school year, saving the district around $200,000.

With simple tasks like turning off lights, closing outer doors, and using skylights, the Kyrene Power Challenge’s aim was to teach students about smart behaviors when it comes to energy conservation.

According to Ted Gonzalez, the district’s business development and sponsorship coordinator, the goal is that kids take these lessons with them into their home life.

“In the end, I was very surprised at how much was saved,” he said. “(The program) just kind of opens their eyes and I would hope they take it home with them.”

Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School in Ahwatukee was named as the power challenge’s champions for the year, also named as one of the monthly winners in January.

Monte Vista Principal Helene Zimmerman said the key to saving energy this year was all about awareness.

“It sounds simple, and it truly was,” she said. “It was really a cultural thing, it was an entire community effort for us to win.”

Tying in to the school’s existing recycling program and a random acts of kindness effort, Zimmerman said her students served as reminders for her staff and other adults.

“No matter how young they are, they arise to the occasion,” said Zimmerman. “It’s exciting to see a little kindergartner shutting off unused lights before he leaves a room.”

Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary is located at 15221 S. Ray Road.

For more information about the Kyrene Power Challenge and the sponsorship program, visit kyrene.org/Page/24462.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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