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Alabama Power employees offer students incentive to ‘stay in school’

An outreach program funded by employees at Alabama Power’s Jordan Dam aims to keep students at Holtville Elementary School in class.

Jordan Dam Superintendent Montreall Hearn said he was heavily involved in community service projects while working at Plant Gaston and wanted to bring that same spirit to the Hydro team when he became a dam superintendent about seven months ago.

Hearn said he remembers how special it was to receive a bicycle for Christmas when he was a kid. He asked Jordan Dam’s seven employees if they’d be willing to collect money to purchase bicycles for the holidays.

“I knew how much a bicycle meant and I always try to teach my own kids that everyone doesn’t have as much as you or is as fortunate as you, so I’m always looking for ways to give back to our community,” Hearn said.

After speaking with Holtville Elementary Principal Chris Holley on ways to distribute the bikes, he found out the school was having some problems with attendance.

Plant employees have already purchased two bicycles with the goal of purchasing two bikes every nine weeks to be awarded as prizes in a drawing for students with perfect attendance. The employees bought two different bikes – a 20-inch bicycle for kindergarten through second grade, and a 26-inch bike for third and fourth graders.

Hearn said he and other Jordan Dam employees still plan to do something for children closer to Christmas, which was the original idea that spawned the bicycle donations.