North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Kick off Bright Ideas Education Grant Program

Electric co-ops to award more than $600,000 to teachers for creative classroom projects

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are giving Tar Heel teachers the opportunity to win grants for innovative classroom projects. The electric co-ops have allocated more than $600,000 to award educators across the state during the 2012-2013 school year. The application period opens April 1.

Teachers can learn more about the program and apply online at Grants will be awarded in all disciplines and grade levels for creative, hands-on projects that would otherwise go unfunded.

“Bright Ideas puts new resources in the hands of teachers with creative strategies to engage students,” said Lindsey Listrom, community relations specialist at the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. “We’re proud to continue the co-ops’ long tradition of supporting educators and investing in the future of our state.”

Since 1994, Bright Ideas has awarded more than $7.9 million for 7,700 projects benefiting 1.4 million students statewide.

The co-ops are accepting applications from April through September. Educators who submit their application by the early-bird deadline of Aug. 17 will be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card.

To apply, educators must submit an application that includes a description of the project’s goals, implementation method, creative elements and budget. Applications will be judged in a competitive evaluation process, and judges will be on the lookout for projects that address students’ needs in creative ways.

In most cases, grants of up to $2,000 are available, but the maximum grant amount can vary depending on the sponsoring electric cooperative.

The Bright Ideas Education Grant program is part of the electric cooperatives’ ongoing commitment to North Carolina communities.North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives serve more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.