KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 23, 2007 – The Florida Department of Education has honored Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) with its Commissioner’s Business Recognition Award for the utility’s work with the local school district to improve academic performance.
KUA was one of 81 businesses honored statewide and one of two from Osceola County. The awards were presented at a ceremony held April 19 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The utility was recognized for its contributions at the district, school and student levels:
At the district level:
• KUA financial contributions include annual sponsorship of the Education Foundation of Osceola County, Education in the Park, Osceola County Regional Science & Engineering Fair and Dreams for Teens.
• The utility provides financial support for the Superintendent’s Stellar Star program, Back to School Hotline and annual Realtor’s Breakfast.
• KUA partnered with Osceola District Schools in 2006 to offer free Internet connectivity to homebound students who are out of school for a variety of reasons including short- or long-term illnesses. This partnership enables students to keep pace with their onsite classmates, providing for a smooth, successful transition when they return to school.
At the school level:
• KUA sponsors an annual calendar art contest for students in grades kindergarten through grade six. The winning artwork is featured in a calendar that is distributed to teachers at each elementary and middle school in the district.
• The utility regularly participates in classroom presentations and career fairs and provides free tours of its power plants and other utility-related facilities.
• KUA loans out its giant portable cooker to schools looking to enhance a school event or fundraiser.
• Utility employees regularly serve as Junior Achievement instructors.
At the student level:
• KUA serves as a work location for students enrolled in the COMPACT internship program. The students are exposed to a professional work environment each week and are provided a complimentary meal served by utility employees.
• Utility employees regularly volunteer as student mentors and reading buddies.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was also recognized at the event.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent