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School District Five receives electric bus after student wins essay contest

For Immediate Release – May 3, 2022



School District Five receives electric bus after student wins essay contest

CHAPIN – Lexington-Richland School District Five received the keys to a new electric school bus on Friday April 29, 2022. 


School District Five is one of four districts in the state to receive the state of the art, Proterra equipped, Thomas Built bus. The district was selected to receive the bus after Isaac Brewer, a student in the Center for Advanced Technical Studies’ (The Center) Clean Energy Program, was inspired by Clean Energy Instructor Patrick Smallwood to enter the “Kids Ride Clean” writing contest sponsored by the Ava Lane Meyer Foundation. Brewer shared why School District Five wanted the electric school bus and how the district would utilize the bus. 


“I didn’t think much of it and honestly I forgot about my essay for a while,” Brewer said. “Next thing I know I’m getting a call from Mr. Smallwood to say I’ve won and here I am today presenting my essay. I’m really excited about it. It’s a huge opportunity for The Center and Mr. Smallwood and just really inspirational to see.”


The Ava Lane Meyer foundation was created by Austin Meyer to advance clean energy and transportation by both investing and giving in those areas. He was looking for two main criteria as to who the winners of the buses would be.


“I was looking for the essay that indicated the new bus would get used by the school district and that they would drive the wheels off of it,” Meyer said. “When you drive the wheels off of it, that’s when you realize the benefit of an electric bus long term. And this district, along with the three other districts, really hit it out of the park.”


Lexington-Richland School District Five Superintendent Dr. Akil E. Ross, Sr. said the new electric bus was only the beginning of things to come.


“Our students are learning right now that the future of our world begins with a bus ride to school,” Ross said. “That clean energy is real and the things they are studying at The Center are applied today!”


The new electric bus will not only be utilized at The Center, but students at Dutch Fork Elementary Academy of Environmental Sciences will be able to ride the bus to and from school. Brewer is still shocked by the impact his essay will make on School District Five and the future.


“I still can’t believe it. It really is incredible to have an impact on The Center and on the fleet of buses and hopefully on the future,” Brewer said.