Governor Easley Declares November Bright Ideas Month

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina governor Mike Easley has proclaimed November Bright Ideas Education Grant month. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives, which created and administer the program, have responded with a record number of grants for the state’s teachers.

Suzanne Ward, North Carolina Bright Ideas coordinator said during November the cooperatives will award more than $530,000 in grants, the most in the program’s 11-year history.

The Bright Ideas grant program helps teachers finance innovative and creative projects. The state’s electric cooperatives established the Bright Ideas program 11 years ago to help teachers who were funding classroom-based projects out of their own pocket. Today, any North Carolina K-12 teacher can apply for a grant up to $2,000.

 Since 1994, the state’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have awarded more than $ 4 million to North Carolina teachers whose Bright Ideas projects have touched more than 650,000 North Carolina students in subjects such as math, reading, music and the arts. Bright Ideas is the only education grant program exclusively for North Carolina classroom teachers.

Highlighting the month will be a statewide and weeklong celebration of award winning teachers during Bright Ideas Week, November 14-20.

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