Contractor Cook-Illinois Corp. Supports School District’s ‘Green’ Initiatives


Representatives of Cook-Illinois Corp. joined River Trails School District 26 in Mt. Prospect, Ill., about 24 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, to tour an educational Clean Air Club bus that acts a a traveling museum.

The tour through the 45-foot bus took place Oct. 9-11. Students from Indian Grove Elementary School experienced a variety of interactive exhibits that focus on the positive environmental impact of using renewable fuel. Cook-Illinois Corp., converted the 27-year-old bus. The company said it has become very popular with local school districts to show students how to focus on saving energy and how clean air and incorporating green initiatives protect the environment and as well as public health throughout the school year.

The bus is powered by biodiesel made from soybean oil, which Cook-Illinois uses throughout its fleet of 2,000 school buses that operate each school day across Chicagoland. Cook-Illinois owns Grand Prairie, which provides bus service for District 26, and is one of 20 student transportation subsidiaries in the area that transport more than 200,000 students.

The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits and focuses on the positive environmental impact of using renewable fuel. The bus is the first of its kind in Illinois, and was originally introduced on Earth Day in 2008. Cook-Illinois said though it is a 27-year-old vehicle, the bus has been very popular with school districts because it focuses on saving energy, promotes clean air and incorporates green initiatives that protect the environment and people’s health into the school year.

In addition to learning more about biodiesel fuel, the students at Indian Grove Elementary School took part in an assembly called “Think Green: A Healthy Planet Show,” presented by Midwest School Shows. The students learned important lessons about the “four R’s” of thinking “green” — Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and Restore.

“We are very proud to be part of the green initiatives that River Trails School District 26 is incorporating to save energy and promote clean air,” said Robert Smith, director of business development at Cook-Illinois Corp. “I encourage everyone to talk to their children about what the district is doing to help students learn more about being ‘green’.”