Efforts to transition the Navajo Nation from a reliance on dirty and unhealthy energy sources like kerosene, diesel and propane must start with education, and must be championed by local people. As a result, in addition to making clean energy products available in local shops, Eagle Energy focuses on teaching kids about clean energy. Our Solar Schools Pilot Project is currently evaluating strategies on the Navajo Nation to make clean energy technologies and educational materials available via school libraries and to develop fun, interactive programs to promote solar energy.
This spring, EE has provided 200 solar-powered lights to school librarians in the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation in partnership with Nokero (www.nokero.com) and Teach for America New Mexico. Students can now check out solar lights from their school along with their books, allowing them to read at night without the use of grid electricity, generators and kerosene (see photo below).
In addition, EE board member and CU Theatre Professor, Beth Osnes, recently travelled with Eagle Energy volunteers from the University of Colorado to Prewitt and Thoreau, New Mexico to push the Solar Schools Pilot Project forward. The theatre students created a performance called “Energy Justice: The Musical” with the help of local students and staff members. The musical was performed for 170 students and staff at Thoreau High School and for 370 students and staff at Baca/Dlo'Ay Azhi Community School in Prewitt, NM. Six high school students performed in the musical, which involved humor, audience interaction, narration, shadow puppets and songs (see photo below).
As the school year winds down, we are busy evaluating our approach, and planning for a broad expansion into schools throughout the Navajo Nation next fall. Please forward this e-mail on to at least one friend to help us spread the word about Eagle Energy's work to light the Navajo Nation, where over 18,000 American families still lack access to electricity.
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