Cooperatives In Our Schools
What is the Cooperative In Our Schools Program?
“Cooperative In Our Schools” (CIOS) was designed by the late Brian Kulas, former educator and cooperative director for Taylor Electric Cooperative (Medford, Wis.), to teach students about the impact of cooperatives in their communities.
Cooperative Unit Overview
How it works:
St. Croix Electric Cooperative coordinates with local school districts to identify the district’s frequent/top substitute teachers and train them in the Cooperatives In Our Schools curriculum. When a teacher is absent for – ideally – two days in a row (however, one day on two occasions does work), the substitute will bring the curriculum to their class of students (5th or 6th graders). St. Croix Electric will compensate the substitute teacher for their day of training, as well as reimburse the school for the cost of the sub on the days they teach the CIOS curriculum.
If the district would prefer to have their 5th grade teacher(s) incorporate the curriculum in their classroom(s) over the course of the school year, SCEC will pay the teacher(s) a stipend for training and provide all materials for the curriculum. This was the model used at St. Croix Central Middle School.
In the classroom:
The CIOS curriculum consist of 12 activities, which can fill a full two days of instruction or be spread out as daily or weekly activities. It incorporates lecture, video, guest speakers and a team project. The team project includes giving students the chance to record their own :30 radio ads promoting cooperatives (PowerPoint presentations or skits are other options). With permission, St. Croix Electric will work with a local radio station to air these ads during National Cooperative Month in October, with recognition given to the students/class.
St. Croix Electric Cooperative also works with local cooperatives (Cooperative Principle #6 - Cooperation Among Cooperatives!) to provide guest speakers during one of the activities. The speakers discuss how and why their cooperative was formed and the services it provides to our local communities. SCEC would like to recognize AgStar Financial Services and Countryside Cooperative for participating in this activity in Spring 2016.