All of us tend to take electricity for granted. We’re used to flipping on the switch and having the lights go on. When we click the remote control, the TV comes on. All those appliances in the kitchen make it convenient for our parents to prepare meals for us.
The only times you may have been without electricity are when the power has been out due to a storm. Even if the power outage is for a short amount of time, not having electricity — for however long — is not fun! Can you imagine what life would be like without electricity?
If your grandparents or great-grandparents lived in rural Indiana back in the 1930s they may have been around before electricity. Most homes in the country did not have electricity back then. Rural electric cooperatives were created to bring power to people who lived in rural areas.
On May 11, 1935 — 75 years ago — President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 7037, creating the Rural Electrification Administration. The REA was designed to spread electric energy to rural areas. A month later, on June 18, 1935, the first electric cooperative in Indiana was formed: Boone County Rural Electric Membership Corporation.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of rural electrification, we invite our PowerKids readers to say “Happy Birthday” to electric cooperatives. We encourage you to be creative in how you express those birthday wishes. For example:
- You can design a 75th birthday card.
- You can write a poem about all of electricity’s benefits.
- You can write a first-person account of what it would be like to suddenly have electricity for the first time — or what it would be like to live without it.
- You can change the lyrics to a popular song — turning the song into a tune about electricity.
- You can come up with your own comic strip about rural electrification. If you want, you can include Willie Wiredhand, the rural electric mascot, in your comic strip.
These are just a few ideas. Feel free to come up with other ways to pay tribute to electric cooperatives.
Send us your Happy Birthday greetings by April 9. We’ll pick three winning entries which will be published on the May PowerKids page. Each winner will receive a $25 check. You can enter as many times as you wish. Please send your submissions to Electric Consumer, PowerKids, P.O. Box 24517, Indianapolis, IN 46224. You can also e-mail us at email@example.com. If you e-mail us, include “PowerKids” in the subject line.