North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Celebrate Bright Ideas Month in November by Awarding $590,000 to Teachers

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award Bright Ideas education grants to teachers across the state in November. The cooperatives will collectively contribute nearly $590,000 to the Bright Ideas program for innovative, classroom-based projects.

The Bright Ideas program began 18 years ago to help teachers who were financing classroom-based projects out of their own pockets and has since funded more than 7,000 projects. Any certified K-12 North Carolina teacher may apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to be used for projects in their classroom.

“North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are proud of the impact we’re making on education in our state, and we’re celebrating deserving teachers this month,” said Lindsey Listrom, Bright Ideas Coordinator for North Carolina’s Association of Electric Cooperatives. “We’re arming teachers with the supplies they need to bring hands-on learning and creative projects into classrooms across North Carolina.”

Since the program’s inception in 1994, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have awarded more than $7.3 million to N.C. teachers. The Bright Ideas program has reached more than 1.3 million 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 Carolina Panthers players and mascot Sir Purr, 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.