Louie the Lightning Bug back in East Texas with electrical safety messages

SHREVEPORT, La., September 22, 2008 – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is bringing its electrical safety education efforts into the classroom through an innovative, interactive educational touring theatre show that actively engages local school children in learning.

Louie, Louie
is SWEPCO’s fast-paced, action-packed live learning program that involves kids in the subject matter, presents lessons in a way that kids enjoy and helps children remember what they learned about electrical safety long after the show is over.

SWEPCO has sponsored Louie, Louie in 40 elementary schools across its three states this month at no charge. Scheduled to host the show locally in CARTHAGE is:
Libby Elementary School 425 Davis St. September 25 9:00 & 9:45 a.m.

Using colorful sets and characters in humorous situations, Louie, Louie is designed to teach young people the concepts and importance of electrical safety.

The producer of this educational program is The National Theatre for Children NTC), a Minnesota-based national touring company. NTC develops and tours educational theatre programs to schools on behalf of corporations, non-profits and municipalities that wish to teach important societal messages for 6- to 12-year-old students in a unique way. Using creative audience participation techniques, NTC performs age-appropriate live theatre and supplies each student and teacher with follow-up curriculum.

Keith Honey, SWEPCO external affairs manager in Longview, said bringing Louie to local schools underscores AEP’s commitment to electrical safety and education of young people.

“Working together, SWEPCO and NTC make it possible for local students to see this program and learn about electrical safety in a fun, exciting way that will help students remember how to play it safe around electricity,” said Honey.

Louie, Louie will be offered to every local elementary school over the next two years. Schools will be encouraged to book the program every second or third year so that all students ultimately will have the opportunity to experience live theatre and learn key electrical safety messages.

The curriculum materials that accompany the program are used in the classroom to expand on and reinforce electricity and electrical safety concepts. The materials include booklets that students can take home and share with parents to demonstrate and strengthen the youngsters’ understanding.

During the 2007-2008 school year, more than 360,000 students in 1,200 schools experienced live theatre presentations across AEP’s 11-state service area. Last year, over 12,000 students saw a SWEPCO safety program in East Texas.

SWEPCO, an operating company unit of American Electric Power, serves over 473,500 customers in East Texas and the Panhandle, Northwest Louisiana and western Arkansas. AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, which includes 39,000 miles of transmission lines. AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com.

Scott McCloud, 673-3532
Kacee Kirschvink, 673-3394