Children’s Book Challenge

Introduction

SC fourth and fifth grade students are invited to write and illustrate a children’s book about our electric cooperatives.  Winning entries will be awarded cash prizes as well as an opportunity to get published!  This year’s challenge focuses on the theme of Empowering Communities: Electric co-ops then and now.

How to Participate

  1. Register for the challenge by Friday, November 5, 2021. Entrants will receive a confirmation email and your area’s cooperative contact information will be provided to you after you register for this year’s competition. 
  2. Each registered team (1-4 students) will create an electronic book using the online book creator, StoryJumper. This web-based platform allows students to write and illustrate their stories using laptops, tablets, or other devices.
  3. Next, teachers should sign up for a free account at StoryJumper and become familiar with the options. StoryJumper is a free platform for teachers and students to write and illustrate books. There are video tutorials and a useful teacher’s guide to help you get started.
  4. Books may be fiction or nonfiction. Students writing books of fiction are encouraged to collaborate with their classmates, including remotely, to plan the following elements of the story: characters, challenges, motivation, setting, obstacles, setting, climax, and closing.
  5. Explore and research the history of the electric cooperative movement by contacting your local electric cooperative office. (Your local cooperative contact information will be provided to you by email shortly after registration.)  Make sure to write down the contact’s name and the date(s) you communicated to use on the Author’s Summary.
  6. StoryJumper automatically saves student work – allowing teams of students to work together over an extended period of time.
  7. When students are finished writing and illustrating their book, they must share it with their designated electric co-op contact.  Click on the Share button next to the book on StoryJumper.com.  Students younger than 13 years old must ask a parent to Share the book online.  Other students may use the option to Share with family and friends and send the resulting link to their local cooperative contact.
  8. All electronic books must be submitted to the local co-op office by Friday, January 28, 2022.

Follow the links below for rules, instructions and requirements:


Why a Children’s Book?

For more than 75 years, the electric cooperatives in South Carolina have been transforming lives, families and communities with electricity and community support. We want to celebrate that outstanding history with an opportunity for young people to learn what cooperatives are, how they started and how electricity impacts our lives. The electric cooperatives in South Carolina value education and realize students are the problem solvers of the future. Becoming an energy-literate society is essential to overcoming our future energy challenges. Writing a children’s book on energy allows students to widen their knowledge of our state’s energy possibilities.

Additional Resources

Writing Process

For more information on the writing process, click here.

Questions to Consider

For questions to consider during the writing process, click here.

What Is Energy?

To learn more about energy, click here.

History of Electricity Generation in South Carolina

Much of South Carolina was living without electricity in the 1920s. This video is a shorter version of how and why Santee Cooper was created.

 

Pushing Back the Darkness is the full 27-minute program that discusses the state of SC prior to electrification and the start of Santee Cooper.

 

Electric Cooperatives Remember

 Santee Electric Celebrates 75 Years

Santee Electric Cooperative interviewed members and employees to celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2015. Discussion includes life before and after electrification.

 

 The First Refrigerators

What was life like before refrigerators? Without electricity, refrigerators were inaccessible to rural South Carolinians. Ms. Helen Martin describes getting electricity and her first refrigerator.

 

2021 SC Children’s Book Challenge Winner

Angel, The Solar Bird, by Madeleine Benner, was selected as the winner of the 2021 Children’s Book Challenge. Her winning entry can be viewed here:

Madeleine Benner


2020 SC Children’s Book Challenge Winner

When Wind Meets Windmill, by Carolyn Zheng, was selected as the winner of the 2020 Children’s Book Challenge. Her winning entry can be viewed here:

Carolyn Zheng


2019 SC Children’s Book Challenge Winner

Myah’s Energy Enlightment, by Myah McMillan, was selected as the winner of the 2019 Children’s Book Challenge. Her winning entry can be viewed here:

2019 ECSC-Myah’s Energy Enlightment


2018 SC Children’s Book Challenge Winner

Lightbulb, by Zephan Hunter, was selected as the winner of the 2018 Children’s Book Challenge.

His winning entry can be viewed here:

ECSC-Lightbulb April 2018