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tools and other supplies that will help ensure the project’s success.


“We really appreciate REC and the OperaƟ on Round-Up grant,” said Knox. “It has been a big help.”


“This garden will provide our students with hands-on learning experiences that promote inquiry, observaƟ on, and experimentaƟ on,” explained Guthrie. “It adds one more outdoor learning environment at Cleora School to promote physical acƟ vity outside and make learning come alive. This now gives our students ⇒ ve diī erent learning opportuniƟ es outside the classroom walls (nature trail, outdoor classroom, rain garden, observaƟ on pond, and fruit/vegetable garden). Students will also be able to experience where some of their food comes from through the process of planƟ ng, nurturing, harvesƟ ng, and consuming. It will be exciƟ ng to see the students eaƟ ng the fresh produce during school lunch Ɵ me. We hope this will encourage more kids to eat fruits and vegetables.”


Knox taught full-Ɵ me at Cleora for 29 years. He reƟ red from full-Ɵ me classroom duƟ es but returned to teach math and science a half-day. The other half-day he assumes responsibiliƟ es as the school groundskeeper, mowing and manicuring the school’s sprawling campus.


Keeping the school grounds looking sharp is a family aī air and Knox’s son Bryson puts in his fair share of Ɵ me. A Cherokee scholarship recipient, Bryson is able to use his twenty required hours of community service by helping tend the garden during the summer months.


“It’s good to have him out here,” said the elder Knox of his son. “I would be scared to tell you how many hours Bryson and I have spent here in the garden, but it has been quite a few. We aren’t going to let it go. We’ll take over what doesn’t get done. It’s a sacri⇒ ce, but it is something


we are willing to do so the kids will have something to enjoy when they come back to school.”


Small change that changes lives A total of $20,903 in grants were awarded to eleven diī erent organizaƟ ons during the March 2016 meeƟ ng of the Trust FoundaƟ on board. The board convenes every other month to disburse OperaƟ on Round-Up funds. The largest grant awarded was a check for $3,600 that the Grove Laundry Love Project used to assist low-income individuals by helping them launder clothing and bedding. Another $2,350 grant went to help the


communiƟ es they serve.


The co-op is humbled by all that has been accomplished over the past ⇒Ō een years. During that Ɵ me, more than $2.7 million has been allocated to needy causes throughout its service territory of Craig, Mayes, Delaware, OƩ awa and Rogers counƟ es.


What is remarkable is how liƩ le OperaƟ on Round-Up asks of each contributor in proporƟ on to the amount of good it does. Our cooperaƟ ve rolled out the program with the slogan Small Change that


Changes Lives. That descripƟ on is no less ⇒ƫ ng today.


OperaƟ on Round-Up does just what its name implies. Each month, our cooperaƟ ve simply “rounds up” the electric bills of parƟ cipaƟ ng members to the next whole dollar.


Parent and voluteer Brenda Sheĸ eld works with students, Chris Pesich and Sherri Sparks, at planƟ ng the garden.


Triple Cross Equestrian & Youth Center, an organizaƟ on that encourages the personal development of youth and families, purchase grooming supplies.


OperaƟ on Round-Up truly is an amazing demonstraƟ on of the care and concern Northeast Oklahoma Electric CooperaƟ ve members have for their friends and neighbors.


The cooperaƟ ve adopted OperaƟ on Round-Up in 1998. Approximately 300 co-ops across the U.S. now uƟ lize the program as a way to posiƟ vely impact the


As a voluntary program, OperaƟ on Round-Up relies on member parƟ cipaƟ on to ensure its success. When a member does parƟ cipate, his/her average contribuƟ on is about 50 cents per month, totaling around $6 on an annual basis. A bill of $52.73 would be rounded up to $53, with the addiƟ onal 27 cents going to the OperaƟ on Round-Up fund. This may seem like small change, but if every consumer took part in the program, we could raise nearly $200,000 a year to help worthy


community projects within our service area.


All OperaƟ on Round-Up donaƟ ons are placed in a trust and administered by an independent board of directors called the Northeast Oklahoma Electric CooperaƟ ve Trust FoundaƟ on. The Trust FoundaƟ on board consists of one designee from each of the cooperaƟ ve’s nine districts and is made up of community leaders who serve on a voluntary basis.


The Trust FoundaƟ on board receives and evaluates all requests, determines who


conƟ nued on page 12 July 2016 - 9


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