Area Teachers Receive $145,000 in Grant Monies at Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas Awards Luncheon

Raleigh, N.C. —More than 150 Triangle and surrounding area teachers will be honored Thursday at the 3rd annual Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon on November 17 at the Hilton North Raleigh. Approximately $145,000 in grant monies will be awarded to the educators. The Bright Ideas winning grants being honored at the luncheon will benefit more than 40,000 Triangle and surrounding area students.

Delivering the keynote address will be Brian Freeman, North Carolina Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. Freeman has dedicated his twelve-year teaching career to helping low-income and minority children in Robeson County overcome their obstacles. He is well known for doing whatever it takes to motivate his students to learn. He will sing, rap, dance or even dress as Little Red Riding Hood’s Granny to teach a lesson.

The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. in Grand Ballrooms 4 and 5. The Hilton North Raleigh is located at 3415 Wake Forest Road. The luncheon is part of a statewide celebration of Bright Ideas Week, November 14-18. During the week, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award more than $540,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to the state’s teachers.

The 130 teachers honored at the luncheon were awarded more than $145,000 in Bright Ideas monies. Winning teachers attending the luncheon are from Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Cumberland, Sampson, Harnett, Lee, Duplin, Bladen, Pender, Columbus, Hoke, Robeson, Randolph, Alamance, Caswell, Person, Johnston, Granville, Vance, Moore, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Franklin counties.

The Bright Ideas grant program awards grants up to $2,000 to individual North Carolina teachers for innovative classroom based projects. In its 12th year, Bright Ideas has awarded more than $4.5 million and funded projects in mathematics, the arts and sciences that have touched more than 800,000 students. The electric cooperatives’ Bright Ideas grant program is the only education grant program exclusively for North Carolina’s classroom teachers.

Sponsoring the grants recognized at the awards luncheon are Touchstone Energy cooperatives Wake Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), Youngsville; Piedmont EMC, Hillsborough; Central EMC, Sanford; South River EMC, Dunn; Four County EMC, Burgaw and North Carolina EMC, Raleigh.

The Bright Ideas education grant program is another example of the electric cooperatives’ commitment to community. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.