COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 2, 2001 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will lead students and teachers from Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio to a South American rain forest this summer in AEP’s Environmental Learning and Adventure in Bolivia (E-LAB) program.

Managers of five AEP power plants have announced E-LAB 2001 participants from neighboring high schools. AEP provides all funding for E-LAB.

The students are (AEP plants in parentheses):

  • Rachel Kennedy, daughter of Jane and Dennis Kennedy, of St. Paul, Va., 11th grade, St. Paul High School (Clinch River Plant, Carbo, Va.)

  • Barrie Newberger of Scott Depot, W.Va., daughter of Lou Newberger and Dan Hedges, 10th grade, Winfield High School (John Amos Plant, St. Albans, W.Va.)

  • Tabitha Amburgey, daughter of Glenda and Olin Amburgey, of Louisa, Ky., 11th grade, Lawrence County High School (Big Sandy Plant, Louisa, Ky.)

  • Courtney Olson, daughter of Pam and Paul Olson, of Pearisburg, Va., 11th grade, Giles High School (Glen Lyn Plant, Glen Lyn, Va.)

  • Kim Milhoan, daughter of Denise and Ken Milhoan, of Charleston, W.Va., 10th grade, Riverside High School (Kanawha River Plant, Glasgow, W.Va.)

The teachers are:
  • Teresa Vencil of St. Paul, Va., chemistry, physics, physical science teacher, St. Paul High School

  • Cindy Wandling of Scott Depot, W.Va., general science teacher, Winfield High School

  • Rebecca Hall of Flatwoods, Ky., biological sciences teacher, Lawrence County High School

  • Gary Hinson of Christiansburg, Va., biology and ecology teacher, Narrows High School

  • Rachelle Marion of Charleston, W.Va., general science teacher, Riverside High School

Also selected were resource teachers Craig Kramer of Worthington, Ohio, from Bexley High School, and Sandra Forgey of Rio Grande, Ohio, from Gallia Academy High School. Their role is to assist the project leader develop and coordinate the experience during and after the trip.

Leading E-LAB 2001 on its 10-day expedition in June in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park will be Jay Pruett, AEP manager of environmental stewardship.

“Students and teachers were selected by their schools on the basis of a keen interest in and commitment to the environment. Each submitted an essay describing environmental sustainability,” Pruett said.

“During and after the trip, students and teachers will use their observations to develop a learning plan for their school curriculum on tropical forest ecology, climate change, development that can be sustained in the future and the diversity of plants and animals that flourish in tropical habitats,” Pruett said.

Participants’ learning plans will be posted to the E-LAB web site.

“The people who work at AEP’s power plants are pleased that their community partnerships can provide learning opportunities such as E-LAB for their schools,” Pruett said.

AEP’s involvement in the Bolivian rain forest began in 1997 when it formed a partnership, the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Project, with the government of Bolivia, two environmental organizations and two other companies to address the climate change issue. AEP and its partners committed to preserve the tropical park in northeastern Bolivia as the largest forest-based carbon sequestration project in the world. Vegetation in the forest captures and stores carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, released by the combustion of fossil fuels. Preserving vegetation also prevents the release of carbon dioxide from forest destruction.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it one of America’s largest generators of electricity. The company is also a leading wholesale energy marketer and trader, ranking second in the U.S. in electricity volume. AEP provides retail electricity to more than 9 million customers worldwide and has more than $55 billion in assets, primarily in the U.S. with holdings in select international markets. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

Tom Ayres
Media Relations
American Electric Power

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