Aydin Soner

Aydin Soner is the winner of the 2023 Children's Book Challenge

Blythewood, SC – Captain Co-op, the New Assistant and the Tornado, by Aydin Soner, was selected as one of the statewide winners of the 2023 Children’s Book Challenge. Sponsored by EnlightenSC—an educational initiative of the state’s independent, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, the competition challenges 4th and 5th grade students to write and illustrate stories that focus on the impact of electricity in their lives, communities and the state.

Soner, a homeschooled fourth grader in Columbia, was surprised when representatives from Fairfield Electric Cooperative announced he had won the statewide award at their cooperative on Monday. Soner received a $500 cash prize and his teacher, and mother, Kutina Williams, received a $100 prize.

“The judges were impressed with the quality of both the story and illustrations Aydin created for his book,” said Chaundrea Lee of Fairfield Electric Cooperative. “He is a gifted artist and writer and we are pleased to be able to recognize and reward his work.”

Captain Co-op, the New Assistant and the Tornado is about a super hero lineworker who teaches his new partner about co-ops and restores power after a tornado.  Soner’s book, which was also selected as a regional winner by his local co-op, Fairfield Electric, will be published and distributed to elementary schools throughout the state this summer.

South Carolina’s electric cooperatives have been committed to powering rural communities since 1938. This concern for communities, and the future of our youth, has carried forward to today. By inspiring students to learn more about energy in our state, S.C.’s electric co-ops hope to spark a passion for critical thinking in the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

See Aydin Soner's reaction to winning one of the statewide awards in the 2023 Children's Book Challenge.