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The Lights for Learning (L4L) program inspires students to take action, stimulates awareness of energy efficiency, and educates

students to become the next generation of environmentally aware citizens. L4L features hands-on educational presentations and energy efficiency focused fundraising opportunities.

L4L is offered for free throughout Illinois due to a generous grant from the State Energy and Recycling Office. There are three ways to participate:

  • Host a free educational presentation
  • Host a free, high-yield fundraiser
  • Maximize the learning and earning by hosting both

The habits that students adopt through the L4L fundraiser and educational presentation make energy-conscious and environmentally-aware choices an integral part of the rest of their lives. By promoting energy-efficient products and practices in their neighborhoods and during dinner-table conversation at home, students become community energy efficiency ambassadors.

Annual L4L contests encourage students to apply their creativity toward developing videos, poems, and posters promoting energy efficiency. 

Free Energy Efficiency Presentations

L4L presentations educate students, teachers, and families about energy efficiency. Program presenters are available for informative and interactive presentations at participating schools, organizations, and events, illustrating the tangible benefits of energy-efficient products and adopting simple energy-saving behaviors. L4L presentations can be tailored to the participation of a few students, or dozens. Students’ age and the amount of time allotted are taken into account when planning in-school presentations. The presentations focus on the use of energy saving devices, home energy conservation, and energy-efficient lighting. L4L presentations feature energy bikes and light boards as interactive learning experiences for hands-on students. L4L provides educators with fun and age-appropriate take-home materials that promote STEM skills and reinforce the program’s themes of energy conservation and efficiency. The educational materials are broken out into four separate age- and level-appropriate Energy Saving Teams:

  • Jr. Energy Heroes (Grades K-2)
  • Energy Heroes (Grades 3-5)
  • Energy Champions (Grades 6-8)
  • Energy Leaders (Grades 9-12)

Each team features its own tailored fundraiser prizes and educational materials.

Free Energy Efficiency Fundraisers

To reinforce the energy efficiency lessons of the L4L presentations, the L4L fundraiser features energy-efficient lighting products

rather than traditional school fundraising items such as candy and gift wrap. Through the L4L fundraiser, Pre-K-12 students raise much needed funds through the sale of ENERGY STAR qualified Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs), Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs (LEDs), LED holiday light strands, LED night lights, and smart power strips. The specific fundraiser product mix is revised from year to year to ensure that it always features cutting-edge, energy-efficient products.

Fundraisers are flexible, schools and other groups such as park districts and museums, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, church groups, and 4-H Clubs are all invited to participate. Fundraisers may last for weeks, or can be scheduled around a single event.

Participating groups receive 50% of all funds raised. Top selling students, organizations, and classrooms are rewarded with prizes for their exemplary sales achievements.

Educational Objectives

The L4L program:

  • encourages the use of CFL and LED bulbs because they offer a simple and effective energy saving opportunity;
  • develops STEM skills; and
  • works to encourage students’ interest in new energy-efficient technologies.

Fundraising Objectives

The L4L fundraiser:

  • highlights the value and benefits of ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs and LEDs;
  • helps students raise funds for their classroom or community programs; and
  • provides a platform for students to educate others in their community about the importance of energy efficiency.

Additional Program Benefits

  • Program Flexibility: L4L can be tailored to the participation of a few students, or hundreds. Fundraisers may last for weeks, or can be scheduled around a single event. Groups such as park districts and museums, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, church groups, and 4-H Clubs are also eligible to participate in L4L presentations and fundraisers.
  • A Strong Reputation: L4L has grown with each successive year, boasting high retention of past participants and glowing testimonials from year to year. Best of all, because of the L4L team’s extensive experience running L4L, program ramp-up and launch can take place quickly.
  • Sustainability: L4L enables schools, public park districts, museums, scout troops, 4-H clubs, and other community organizations throughout Illinois to incorporate, promote, and sustain educational and environmental programs.
  • Safety: L4L teaches how to safely handle and dispose of CFLs through nationally recognized recycling programs.