Children’s Book Challenge

Fourth and fifth-grade students from South Carolina are invited to write and illustrate a children’s book that discusses the history of electrification in our state. Entries must include information about electric cooperatives and the impact electricity has made on our lives.


How to Compete

Students will research the history of electrification in the state of South Carolina. Each registered team (1-4 students) will receive a blank book to use as a canvas for writing and illustrating their story. The following steps detail how to participate in this competition.

  1. Register for the challenge by December 31, 2018.
  2. Entrants will receive a confirmation email with contact information for local cooperative offices.
  3. The requested number of blank hardback books will be mailed to the address provided by the entrants.
  4. All books must be submitted to your local co-op office by Friday, February 1, 2019.
  5. Each co-op will select its local winner by Thursday, February 28
  6. All local winners are automatically entered in the state-wide book contest.
  7. One state-wide winner will be announced on Friday, April 12, 2019.

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 the subject allows students to widen their knowledge of our state’s energy past and points them to thinking about the future.

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.


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.


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 Final Edit.

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.