North Carolin’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Celebrate Bright Ideas Month By Awarding More Than $580,000 To Deserving N.C. Teachers

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 provide funding for innovative, classroom-based projects that would otherwise go unfunded.  This year, the cooperatives contribution to education in our state will surpass $580,000.

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 15 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 nearly 6,000 projects.

“North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives take pride in the local communities we serve and see education as one of the best ways to positively impact those communities,” said Morgan Lashley, 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 year after year.”

Since the program’s inception in 1994, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have awarded more than $6.5 million to N.C. teachers and will surpass the $7 million mark this year.  The Bright Ideas program has reached more than 1 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.