NC Electric Co-ops Award 2020-21 Bright Ideas Education Grants

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have awarded more than $660,000 for 563 NC Bright Ideas education grants that will bring learning to life for more than 137,000 students across the state this school year.

Pee Dee Electric grant winner Whitney Smith and her students at Washington Street Elementary

Since 1994, electric cooperatives in North Carolina have partnered with educators statewide to provide Bright Ideas grants to K-12 educators for projects that engage students in innovative ways and wouldn’t otherwise be funded.

Grants are available to teachers in all 100 North Carolina counties for projects in all grade levels and subject areas. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local cooperatives also provided support for projects that would help students adapt to a modified school environment.

Grant winners from Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative

“This year’s grant applications were filled with unique ideas geared to help students learn both in the classroom and virtually,” said Melissa Glenn, communications specialist at Newport based Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative. “The innovative and creative learning initiatives developed by our area’s teachers are impressive, and we are proud to help them facilitate these projects.”

Since the program began, educators statewide have received more than $13.6 million in Bright Ideas grant funding, and more than 2.7 million North Carolina students have been impacted by nearly 13,000 Bright Ideas-funded projects.

Halifax EMC grant winners from the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School submitted a project that enhances virtual learning by providing students with a drawing tablet to work out problems and send them to their teachers in an image format.

Grant applications are accepted April through September of each year (the exact date of the final deadline varies by co-op), and grants are awarded each November. Educators can visit to learn more about the program and can apply online for 2021-22 Bright Ideas grants beginning April 1.

The Bright Ideas grant program is part of the electric co-ops’ continued commitment to building a Brighter Future for the people, businesses and communities they serve. Learn more about our education initiatives and other community support efforts by visiting the In the Community section of our website.