Raleigh, N.C. —Starting today, throughout the month of November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award Bright Ideas education grants to deserving teachers across the state. The grants make possible innovative, classroom-based projects that would otherwise go unfunded. This year, the cooperatives will contribute nearly $600,000 to the Bright Ideas program.
Any certified K-12 North Carolina teacher may apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to be used for creative projects in their classroom. The Bright Ideas program began 17 school years ago with the purpose of helping teachers who were funding classroom-based projects out of their own pockets and has since provided funding for more than 6,500 projects.
“North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are committed to bettering the communities we serve and there is no better way than through educating our youth,” said Morgan Genty, Bright Ideas Coordinator for North Carolina’s Association of Electric Cooperatives. “Bright Ideas is the only grant program in our state exclusively for North Carolina teachers and we are proud to support this worthy cause for the 17th school year.”
Since the program’s inception in 1994, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have awarded more than $7.1 million to N.C. teachers. The Bright Ideas program has reached more than 1.2 million North Carolina students in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, music and the arts.
Bright Ideas month boasts a variety of activities including, banquets honoring winning teachers and featuring acclaimed guest speakers, a surprise classroom visit and grant presentation from some of the Carolina Panthers players, and “prize patrol” visits to winning teachers’ schools. During each celebration, cooperative representatives will award deserving teachers with their grant checks.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.