The latter stages of November were spent learning about energy conservation throughout Syosset. Thanks to PSEG Long Island, scholars at Harry B. Thompson Middle School and South Grove Elementary School spent plenty of time getting to learn about the environment.
But PSEG decided to team up with the Syosset School District in a fresh way.
PSEG Long Island’s Resource Force was presented to nearly 12,000 sixth through eighth-grade students and their teachers at 30 middle schools across Long Island to educate them about energy waste and energy conservation. The 40-minute improv show teaches students about energy, conservation and more, and it is run by the National Theatre for Children (NTC).
“Live theater is a great way to educate,” NTC president and founder Ward Eames said. “The show goes beyond reading or other more passive methods of engaging kids. These students are watching a story unfold right before their very eyes, with the two actors playing all sorts of characters. We don’t lose the students’ attention for a minute, because they get to respond and interact with the show. It really sticks with them.”
The live program features two professional actor-educators performing a series of comedy sketches about energy resources and how they relate to the world. Improvising as they take suggestions from students in the audience, the actor-educators create a unique experience with each show and provide knowledge and practical ideas that students can use to make a difference in their homes and communities.
“Over the past two years, we have received excellent feedback regarding the innovative ways that we deliver our energy efficiency messages,” Suzanne Brienza, director of customer contact at PSEG Long Island said. “We’ve performed for more than 160,000 students and teachers at 400 elementary schools across Long Island. Resource Force offers similar messaging on saving energy and the environment—through comedy improv, pop culture references and student participation—to appeal to an older middle school audience. The format of the show piques students’ interest and gets them laughing as they learn.”
In addition to the live performances for students, parents can sign up to receive free energy-efficiency kits that feature electric energy-saving tools and LED lightbulbs. PSEG Long Island sponsors every aspect of the program, making the performances and materials a cost-free supplement to lessons in science, literacy and the arts. It’s a win-win-win for students and their schools. The three schools that order the most energy efficiency kits will also win up to $1,000.
And the kids at South Grove were certainly “energy wise” after the NTC’s show. Students enjoyed interacting with the NTC performers during the live Energized Guyz theater performance, which taught them about energy and how to save it.
South Grove’s students are among the 40,000 students in Long Island and the Rockaways to see the Conservation Caper this fall. This 20-minute performance, separate from the Resource Force one at the middle school level, focuses on four key takeaways for students, including what energy is, the uses of energy, how energy is wasted and ways to conserve energy.
“We sponsor these energy conservation performances because students, their teachers and administrators have told us it’s an effective way to open the conversation about reducing energy consumption in a fun and interactive way,” Brienza said. “Along with presenting the program, we offer families free energy efficiency kits and the opportunity for their schools to vie for hundreds of dollars in incentives for going greener.”
For more information on the National Theatre for Children or to register for a performance at your school, visit www.psegliny.com/inthecommunity/communitypartnership.