Marathon Pipe Line (MPL) conducts an annual Safe Digging School Program in each of our 16 operating areas. Its purpose is to educate students about underground utilities/pipelines and the importance of calling 811 before digging.
Local MPL field personnel partner with an elementary school in their operating area that is located near a MPL pipeline. Classroom presentations geared to third grade students are conducted throughout March, April, and May. The presentation includes a discussion about underground utilities, pipeline markers and 811. Students also view the Common Grounds Alliance 811 Pirate video. Each student receives a pirate themed backpack along with educational literature to take home to their parents. To tie the program to the month of April, which is National Safe Digging Month, each area office sponsors a poster contest. Based on what they learn, students are encouraged to draw a picture that illustrates safe digging. The poster contest winner receives a gift card and his/her classroom enjoys a pizza party provided by MPL.
The program’s effectiveness is measured by a brief student questionnaire and a teacher evaluation. It is clear from past responses that the students understand the importance of calling 811 before any digging project. The teacher reviews have been very positive and MPL personnel often form relationships with each school returning annually.