Grants Available Beginning April 1 for N.C. Teachers with Bright Ideas

Starting April 1, North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are accepting applications for Bright Ideas education grants. Teachers with creative ideas for innovative classroom learning projects can apply for funding from their local electric cooperative to enrich the educational experience for students. This year, the cooperatives expect to award nearly $700,000 in grants to educators statewide. Teachers can apply online at

For nearly 30 years, the Bright Ideas education grant program has expanded learning opportunities in North Carolina’s K-12 classrooms. Approximately 600 grants are awarded each year, and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have collectively issued more than $14.3 million in grants that have supported 13,536 projects and benefited well over 2.8 million students statewide.

“North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are committed to building a brighter future for the members and communities we serve, and supporting youth and education is a cornerstone of that commitment,” said North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ COO Nelle Hotchkiss. “We are proud to partner with teachers statewide and inspire the next generation of our state’s leaders.”

Cecelia Hampton’s project, “Fishing for Learning,” sponsored by Blue Ridge Energy.

Educators may apply as individuals or as a team for funding in all curriculum areas including art, history, math, reading, science and technology. In most cases, projects can be funded up to $2,000, but grant amounts vary depending on the sponsoring cooperative.

As part of the application process, teachers must submit a budget proposal, define the goals of the project, outline the implementation of the grant and explain the creative ways the project will engage their students in learning.

“North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are demonstrating the cooperative principle of concern for community through continued support for education,” said Hailey Rodriguez, communications and community relations specialist for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We urge interested educators to learn more and apply.”

The deadline to submit your application for the 2022-2023 school year in most areas is Sept. 15, but applicants should check with their local cooperative to confirm. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit their local co-op’s website to find additional information on application requirements and deadlines. To learn more about the program and review grant-writing tips, please visit