5/17/2004
AEP PSO Announces Major Gift to Early Childhood Education

American Electric Power’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) will announce a major financial gift to support early childhood education in Oklahoma during a governor’s news conference today at 1 p.m. in the Blue Room at the state capitol.

PSO is pleased to announce a gift of $300,000 to the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR), said Julio Reyes, PSO state president.

“We are proud to support Oklahoma’s efforts to provide early childhood services,” said Reyes. “This initiative will have a significant impact on the future prosperity of our state and we are pleased that we could be part of the foundation of this very important effort.”

This gift represents seed money to help the partnership begin operations, he noted, but it also represents a challenge to other organizations who believe in the future of Oklahoma to contribute private funds to support this most important work going forward.

Governor Henry signed HB 1094, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Act, in April 2003. The legislation established the OPSR, a 28 member public-private partnership, and gave it the task of promoting school readiness in Oklahoma.

Under HB 1094, the OPSR will pursue public-private agreements and strategies aimed at improving school readiness opportunities for Oklahoma’s young children and their families. The partnership will also promote best practices for existing programs, and coordinate private and public funds directed to the program.

PSO strongly supports early childhood education initiatives in Oklahoma. Pete Churchwell, retiring PSO state president, chaired the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Education. Created in 2000, the governor charged the task force to assess the needs for early childhood education, the availability and quality of the programs – public and private – throughout the state, and develop a proposal and implementation recommendation to the governor. The task force developed its report, the legislature produced a bill creating an early childhood education partnership and Governor Henry signed the bill into law.

AEP is committed to supporting education initiatives throughout its 11-state service territory, including Oklahoma. AEP believes that education is vital to developing life-long learners who will become productive citizens of this great state and nation. Examples of the company’s support for education include: providing instructional and educational resources on wise energy usage, electricity production, economics and electrical safety; teacher grants for classroom projects; summer energy workshops for teachers; Adopt A School programs; and, a commitment to The Alliance for Youth, a national volunteer initiative.

AEP owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.


Andrea Chancellor
918) 599-2052

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