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OG&E employees virtually visit classrooms, read to local students

The Shawnee News-Star
OG&E Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Stewardship Cristina Fernandez McQuistion kicked off the company’s Martin Luther King Week of Service activities last Friday by reading to a class from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Employees are reading to Shawnee students this week.

In celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., OG&E employees are participating in a dedicated week of service.

This week, OG&E employees are virtually joining 116 first grade classrooms in 62 schools across the communities they serve in Oklahoma and Arkansas, including reading to about 65 students in four Shawnee schools.

Volunteers will read “My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart,” written by Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, the niece of the late civil rights leader. Nearly 2,200 students will hear the readings, and the company says it wants to help educate the younger generation on the contributions of Dr. King and his message on the importance of serving others.

“We chose this book because it was written by his niece and shows a personal side of this extraordinary leader who loved his family and loved people,” said Cristina Fernandez McQuistion, OG&E vice president of corporate responsibility and stewardship. “We want our youth to know that any and everybody can make a difference in their community and the world. As Dr. King himself said, ‘Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.’”

McQuistion kicked off the week’s activities last Friday by reading to a class from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Oklahoma City.

“It was a joy to read this story with first graders from MLK Elementary,” McQuistion said

OG&E is also donating hard copies of the book to participating classrooms. In addition to the virtual readings, the utility is sponsoring virtual parades, drive through celebrations, voter registration drives and community recognitions of the MLK holiday.

“As we reflect on Dr. King and his impact on our society, we appreciate our friends at OG&E and their willingness to volunteer their time to our students,” said Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary Principal Mitchell Ruzzoli. “Having these guests virtually in our classrooms helps us as educators continue to pass down his important legacy. We are honored that our first-graders will join more than 60 other schools in learning about this incredible leader whose life continues to teach us about unity, service and love.”

This marks the second year that OG&E employees have participated in a week of volunteer service in recognition of MLK Day. Last year, the company weatherized 60 homes for senior citizens in northeast Oklahoma City as well as participated in various other parades and projects throughout its service area.

“At OG&E, public service is one of our core values,” McQuistion said. “Our commitment to serve is unwavering both during MLK Week and throughout the year. Having a virtual week of service allows us to safely connect with our communities while carrying out Dr. King’s call to serve others.”