Sumter County Schools save more than half a million dollars

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) -  Many school districts all over the country have had to tighten their belts in order to save money, and one local school district has found a way to save more than half a million dollars!

News Leader Nine tells you about a simple solution taking place in Sumter County Schools.

The Sumter County SchoolDdistrict has saved $560,000!

Lezley Anderson said, "We aren't saving money because we aren't spending money."

It's called cost avoidance, and for the second year in a row Sumter County Elementary School is leading the way in reducing energy use.

Lezley Anderson is one of the school's assistant principals. She told News Leader Nine, "We've taken it to another level with the children because we've helped to encourage and educate them in ways they can save energy in their homes. We also did an energy saving program with one of our partners Magnolia Manor."

Sumter County Elementary School's other assistant principal, Renee Mayz added, "If schools take heed to what we're doing, we can pass the savings to all the schools. Ultimately we save jobs and we can create more programs for our students and use more money to benefit our children."

The school's science lab teacher Daniel Carpenter said the students certainly didn't mind helping out, "They definitely got excited. We tried to pick several theme days that would get them excited. For instance we had a "go green day" where they all got to wear green and we also have our energy awareness bracelets. They are silicone bracelets that glow in the dark."

The program was so successful, organizations in the community even jumped on the energy efficiency bandwagon.

"In our generational program, our older adults and the children in the Sumter County Schools were able to participate together to make the Sumter County community aware of energy savings and cost avoidance in regards to energy," explained Daron Butler, the Vice-President of Community Outreach for Magnolia Manor.

Magnolia Manor ended up saving $50,000 from the program. School administrators, like Mayz say saving energy can be a simple step for anyone, "They took part in it and it was ownership. They felt what they were doing was important and they were helping us achieve our goal."

By flipping the light switch Sumter County Elementary is not only saving energy, but they're saving money, quickly becoming an example school all over the district.

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