North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Receive National Recognition For Teacher Grant Program

Raleigh, N.C. —The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) yesterday honored the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives with  a National Community Service Award for Youth Programs.  The statewide association received the award for “Bright Ideas,” an educational grants program administered by co-ops throughout the state, at NRECA’s 2010 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Since the inception of the Bright Ideas grants program in 1994, co-ops have awarded more than $7 million to deserving teachers in schools across the state to sponsor almost 6,400 classroom projects.  In 2009, co-ops received nearly 2,000 applications and collectively distributed $580,000 in grant money to North Carolina teachers. “Bright Ideas is just one example of the many things North Carolina’s electric cooperatives do for the communities in which they serve. I am honored to receive this award on behalf of an organization that so strongly stands for the value of commitment to community,” said Morgan Lashley, Bright Ideas coordinator for the state’s electric cooperatives.

“An investment in schools is a long-term investment in the community,” said F.E. “Wally” Wolski, president of the NRECA Board of Directors.  “North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have touched the lives of nearly one million North Carolina students with Bright Ideas grants and, during this recession, helped to fill a widening gap in rural education budgets.”

The North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives is a corporation that provides trade association services to the state’s 26 electric cooperatives, which collectively deliver electricity to 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. More than 6,000 representatives from cooperative electric utilities across the nation are attending the NRECA Annual Meeting, February 15-17, in Atlanta, during which they will set NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2010.