Electric Co-ops Earmark $500,000 for NC teachers

Raleigh, N.C. —A revenue source has become available for North Carolina teachers. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are accepting Bright Ideas education grant applications. The state’s 27 electric cooperatives expect to award approximately $500,000 to teachers for classroom projects performed during the 2004-2005 school year.

Teachers can apply for a Bright Ideas education grant at www.ncbrightideas.com. Individual grants up to $2,000 are available from the electric cooperatives. Teachers who submit their application by August 18 will be entered in a drawing for a digital camera.

All North Carolina certified K-12 teachers are eligible for a Bright Ideas grant, not just those served by the state’s 27 electric cooperatives. Bright Ideas provides grants for innovative and creative classroom projects that would otherwise go unfunded. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have financed a variety of hands-on projects, including activities in music, art, history, language, reading, science, career-planning and information technology. Most of the cooperatives judge their applications in October and dispense grant funds in November.

Simplicity is the key to the application process.  “All a teacher has to do is explain the proposed Bright Ideas project, tell how it will benefit students and provide a budget. That’s it,” said Suzanne Ward, Bright Ideas Coordinator. A sample application is on the website as well as contact information for anyone who has questions.

North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are in their 11th year of providing Bright Ideas grants in support of the state’s teachers.  During the upcoming school year, the Bright Ideas program is expected to surpass the $4 million mark in awards. Bright Ideas has funded more than 2,300 projects, which have involved more than 600,000 North Carolina students.

Bright Ideas is part of the electric cooperatives ongoing commitment to North Carolina communities.

North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy Electric Cooperatives are part a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives which provide high standards of service to customers large and small. More than 600 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 44 states deliver energy and services to more than 17 million customers every day. Touchstone Energy cooperatives are local, active members of their communities dedicated to serving commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential customers with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.