Final Deadline Approaching for Teachers to Apply for 2020-21 Bright Ideas Education Grants

Students holding boxes of equipment

The deadline for teachers to apply for a Bright Ideas education grant is approaching fast. North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are accepting applications from local K-12 teachers for grants to fund projects that will benefit their students. Maximum grant amounts and application deadlines vary by cooperative, but the deadline in most areas is in mid-to-late September. Educators can find their local details and apply online at

Students holding boxes of equipment

Students from Ellendale Elementary pose with recording equipment they received thanks to a Bright Ideas grant funded by EnergyUnited in 2019.

Since 1994, electric cooperatives in North Carolina have partnered with educators statewide to provide Bright Ideas grant funding to K-12 educators for projects that bring creative learning to life and engage students in fun and innovative ways.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local cooperatives are being flexible with grant criteria and the types of projects they will support. Teachers are encouraged to apply for innovative, creative projects that will benefit students whether they are in the classroom or learning remotely.

“Beyond providing electricity, cooperatives are committed to supporting the communities we serve and building a brighter future for our members and our state,” said Jennifer Heiss, Bright Ideas coordinator for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “As our local communities navigate the ongoing pandemic, we recognize that initiatives like the Bright Ideas education grant program are important to helping teachers and students adapt and find success in this ever-changing environment.”

Grants are available to teachers in all 100 North Carolina counties for projects in all disciplines, such as music, art, history, language, reading, science, mathematics and information technology.

Since the program began, educators statewide have received more than $12.9 million in Bright Ideas grant funding, and more than 2.5 million North Carolina students have participated in 12,359 Bright Ideas-funded projects.