Raleigh, N.C. — During the month of November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award teachers across the state with Bright Ideas Education grants. Jane Pritchard, director of corporate communications for North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, said the cooperatives will award more than $515,000 in grants.
The Bright Ideas grant program helps teachers finance innovative and creative projects to benefit North Carolina’s youth. The state’s electric cooperatives established the Bright Ideas program in 1994 to help teachers who were funding classroom-based projects out of their own pockets. Today, any North Carolina K-12 teacher can apply for a grant up to $2,000.
Since 1994, the state’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have awarded more than $5 million to North Carolina teachers whose Bright Ideas projects have touched more than 850,000 North Carolina students in subjects such as math, reading, music and the arts. Bright Ideas is the only education grant program exclusively for North Carolina classroom teachers.
Highlighting Bright Ideas month are statewide celebrations, such as luncheons with motivating guest speakers, a surprise grant presentation from the Carolina Panthers to one lucky teacher and “prize patrol” visits to winning classrooms in some parts of the state, all awarding deserving teachers with their grant checks.
The Bright Ideas Education Grant program is another example of the electric cooperatives’ commitment to community. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.