Save the Children Receives $30,000 from Appalachian Power in Support of Reconnecting McDowell Initiative

Donation to Benefit Early Childhood Development, Literacy and Health Programs in Three Elementary Schools in West Virginia's Impoverished McDowell County.

Media Contacts
Ajla Grozdanic 202.262.7171
Jeri Matheney 304.348.4130

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 14, 2013) — Save the Children received a $30,000 contribution from Appalachian Power to support early childhood development, literacy, as well as physical activity and nutrition programs in West Virginia's McDowell County. Focused on helping children in need grow, achieve academic success, and develop healthy habits, the programs are offered in partnership with three elementary schools, as part of the Reconnecting McDowell Initiative.

Save the Children is one of 110 partners of the Reconnecting McDowell Initiative, launched last year to revitalize the poverty-stricken county in southern West Virginia. Since the start of the initiative, Save the Children's programs — offered through Bradshaw Elementary, Iaeger Elementary and Welch Elementary schools — served 527 children in need.

"Children living in poverty fall behind because they aren't given the same opportunities to succeed as other children," said Mark Shriver, senior vice president of Save the Children's U.S. Programs. "Our programs work to close that gap, and this generous gift from Appalachian Power will help us continue to put children in McDowell County on a pathway to a lifetime of success." "At Appalachian Power, we see the effects of poverty in McDowell County on a daily basis," said Appalachian Power President and COO Charles Patton. "We want to help break this cycle of poverty, and that's why we're part of Reconnecting McDowell. We believe the key lies with the children of McDowell County. If we help them have a better start in life, we can help everyone build a better future."

Striving to give children the opportunity to succeed in school and life, Save the Children will use the funds to achieve substantial, measurable results, ensuring that children in McDowell County are ready to learn by the time they begin school, have the tools and support they need to read on grade level, and are healthy and active. In West Virginia, Save the Children has operated its core programs — Early Steps to School Success, Literacy, and Healthy Choices, since 2010. The organization currently partners with 11 communities in five counties, benefiting 3,952 children in the state.

About Reconnecting McDowell

In December 2011, the American Federation of Teachers joined forces with nonprofit groups, government agencies, private companies and educators to help break the cycle of poverty for the 22,000 residents of McDowell County, which is among the poorest in the nation. More than a decade after the state Department of Education took over control of its schools, McDowell County continues to have one of the highest dropout rates in West Virginia. To learn more, read this latest story by the Associated Press.

About Save the Children

Save the Children works to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need — access to a quality education, healthy foods and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters like hurricanes and wildfires strike, Save the Children is among the first on the ground ensuring the needs of children are being met.

Save the Children's early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 185,000 children and families in the United States last year alone. For more information, visit

About Appalachian Power

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Without you...A Child Goes Without. See how you can help.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google+ More