Deserving Teachers Receive Nearly $180,000 At Bright Ideas Awards Luncheon

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will host the seventh annual Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon on Friday, Nov. 20 at the Hilton North Raleigh.  During the luncheon, nearly $180,000 in grant money will be distributed to 196 teachers from the Triangle and surrounding areas.

“The Bright Ideas luncheon is an opportunity for us to recognize those teachers whose steadfast commitment to education has earned them grant funding for a classroom-based project that would otherwise be paid for from their own pockets or not be possible,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

The luncheon will include a keynote address delivered by Darrell Scott, whose daughter Rachel was the first victim of the Columbine High School shootings.  Inspired by his daughter’s acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her diaries, Scott founded Rachel’s Challenge, one of the most life-changing school programs in the United States.  Scott has spoken to more than 5 million people in live settings around the world.  He has also appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live, CNN and the Today Show.  His remarkable message has prevented school violence and averted suicide in high schools and middle schools globally.

The program will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. in Grand Ballrooms 4 and 5 of the Hilton North Raleigh.  The hotel is located at 3415 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC 27609.

Winning teachers attending the luncheon are from Harnett, Cumberland, Sampson, Bladen, Johnston, Duplin, Pender, Durham, Wake, Alamance, Orange, Person, Chatham, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Beaufort, Wayne, Pitt, Franklin, Granville, Nash and Vance Counties.

The Bright Ideas grant program awards grants of up to $2,000 to North Carolina teachers for creative, classroom-based projects.  Since the program’s inception in 1994, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have awarded more than $6.5 million to NC teachers and will surpass the $7 million mark this year.  The Bright Ideas program has reached more than 1 million North Carolina students in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, music and the arts.  This year the cooperatives will distribute more than $580,000 to deserving teachers.

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

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