CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – For 19 years, Appalachian Power employees have celebrated Read to Me Day by visiting hundreds of elementary schools across West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee, reading to students and donating the book to the school library. It is an Appalachian Power tradition.
This year, in celebration of the 20th year of the program, Read to Me Day is moving to YouTube. Appalachian Power has created a read-aloud collection of 20 videos, one for each year of the program. The collection includes the book the company is donating to schools this year, Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly, in addition to all of the books they have read and donated to schools throughout the years. The private video playlist was provided exclusively to all 450-plus elementary schools in the company’s West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee service territory for educational use.
“Read to Me Day is a way that we can show every school we serve that we value education and support what they do,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and a volunteer reader. “We recognize the challenges that our educators and students are facing this school year and knew our traditional in-person reading would not be possible, so we went back to the drawing board to reformat the program. Our new program on YouTube will be a useful supplement to our educators and provide them with the flexibility they need this year.”
Appalachian Power started participating in Read to Me Day in 2001 and estimates that it has read to 280,000 students and donated about 7,000 books since then.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy.