SHEFFIELD, Ala. – L.E. Willson Elementary School and Threadgill Primary School were awarded $300,000 in total grants from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). L.E. Willson received $200,000 and Threadgill Primary received $100,000.

The two schools were members of the TVA’s School Uplift Program which trains public schools and their students to be conscious of wasting energy. Both schools have particularly high energy consumption rates, which is why the TVA identified them as a school of need.

L.E. Willson’s principal, Heather Collum, told News 19 that their grant will be used to replace their lighting fixtures. The school’s lights are around three decades old and are much less energy efficient than modern lights.

“”It wasn’t something that could just be done overnight,” Collum said, “but to get that money and have it go towards our building, which is an old building and is in need of a lot of repairs, that was a blessing.”

Savanna Mize, gifted students specialist for Sheffield city schools, was the person who coordinated the program. She told News 19 that winning the grant will allow the school to save money on their electric bill, which will indirectly help the school in other areas as well.

“We can use that money that we do save on instructional materials or curriculum for our students,” Mize said.

The TVA’s program also allowed students to participate in other events such as “dark days.” During dark days, all of the lights in the school remained off. Students were asked to use flashlights to navigate the school instead as a way to save power.