Hailey-based Power Engineers has donated $150,710 in educational supplies to 43 Title I schools across the country, four of which are in Idaho, two in the Wood River Valley.
“We've been major supporters of Wood River Valley schools and education-focused programs since the [Power Foundation] was formed, and even before,” said Kate Wutz, a public relations spokesperson for Power Engineers. “But this is our largest pledge toward a single effort, and the first to focus on funding specifically for Title I schools.”
Title 1 schools have at least 40 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced-cost lunches, indicating a higher level of financial need.
The donated equipment includes more than 2,200 pairs of headphones, 197 tablets or Chromebooks, 91 cameras and 83 yoga mats for at-home physical education. The donations went to schools in 25 states where Power Engineers’ working families have students enrolled.
“Overall, we impacted about 123,000 students nationwide, 70 percent of whom are from low-income families,” Wutz said.
Two Title 1 schools in Blaine County received funding from the Power Foundation, a philanthropic organization tied to the company that was founded in 2013. Alturas Elementary School received $1,400 for online Spanish curriculum support and digital camera and editing technology. Hailey Elementary School received $3,750 for STEM-related playground equipment.
“They’re essentially big building blocks the kids use to build things outside, which means they can practice problem-solving and engineering in a safer environment,” Wutz said.
Power Foundation board member Gerry Murray said “many, many schools and students are in need right now.”
“We want to make sure the foundation is focusing on schools and communities where we can make a real impact,” Murray said.
Power Engineers has been based in Hailey since 1976 and now has 45 offices in the U.S. and Canada with 2,800 employees. The company is a consulting engineering and environmental services company, primarily working in the energy industry.