NIPSCO, along with The La Porte County United Way helped to give young children a head start with kindergarten classes at Lake Hills Elementary with a generous donation of $60,000 to their Kindergarten Countdown Camp program. This donation will also help fund other Kindergarten Countdown Camps throughout La Porte County school districts. This includes Michigan City, Westville and La Porte.
Representatives from both NIPSCO and the United Way were present to give the donation to the school along with NIPSCO Senior Vice President Violet Sistovaris taking some time to read a storybook about the importance of electricity to a classroom of children.
“It really is for the kids,” said Sistovaris. “We did this for them, they are the most important.”
Kindergarten Countdown Camp began almost a decade ago as way to prepare Indiana children who had not gone to preschool prior to entering kindergarten. The purpose of the camp was to have children ready to enter kindergarten and learn on the first day of class.
“With NIPSCO and the United Way working together and doing things like this, it’s an investment in the future, “said Regional Director of United for Children Kim Olesker. “There are kids entering the first grade who have no experience in the classroom and we want to break that cycle.”
Along with the donation to the school, the children were given a copy of the storybook, along with their own colorful NIPSCO branded backpack.
“Each of these children gets their own copy of the book and their own backpack, “said Sistovaris. “We really want to make this a fun and attractive thing for children. We want them to have fun.”
The camps are varied, depending on each school’s specific need and availability. The camps typically are half the day in length for four weeks. These classes usually include class sizes of around 20 students and are taught by qualified kindergarten teachers and assistants. Each camp includes a fully planned curriculums and activities designed to fully prepare students to have the skills they need to succeed.
Olesker also credits NIPSCO for being an instrumental component of letting programs like this and other community-related events to thrive and bring their benefits to La Porte County and beyond.
“The United Way chose NIPSCO because of their strength in the community. They have a large number of customers and a large number of potential future employees so it was a natural fit,” said Olesker.
The United Way also features several members on their board that are also employees at NIPSCO, allowing them to see both ends of the spectrum when it comes to deciding on how to best serve the community.
“We appreciate the partnership we have now and are preparing to continue working with them for the future,” said Oleskar. “They understand what the community needs and how to best serve everyone in it.”