Triangle-area teachers to receive $185,000 at Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon

North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives celebrate 20 years of Bright Ideas grants

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are awarding Bright Ideas grants worth $185,000 to 140 teachers from the Triangle and surrounding counties at the 12th annual Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon on Friday, Nov. 21. The luncheon is one of many events hosted by North Carolina electric cooperatives this month in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Bright Ideas grant program.

“The Bright Ideas luncheon is an opportunity for us to recognize local teachers whose commitment to education and their students has earned them grant funding for a learning project that would otherwise be paid for from their own pockets or not be possible,” said Lindsey Listrom, community relations specialist for the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. “We’re proud to partner with these outstanding teachers who go the extra mile for their students by supporting their efforts with Bright Ideas grants.”

Teachers attending the luncheon are from Alamance, Bladen, Caswell, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Orange, Pender, Person, Pitt, Sampson, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties. The luncheon, which is part of a statewide celebration of Bright Ideas month, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Dail Club within N.C. State University’s Carter-Finley Stadium and will be live-tweeted using the hashtag #NCBrightIdeas.

Dr. Adolph “Doc” Brown will deliver the keynote address to the grant winners. Brown is a master teacher and motivator and is one of America’s leading authorities on educational excellence and leadership development. A professor, department chairperson and academic dean of the graduate college at Hampton University, Brown will share a message of empowerment and inspiration with educators and encourage them to continue creating a brighter future for themselves, their students, their community and their country.

The Bright Ideas program awards grants of up to $2,000 to North Carolina teachers for creative, classroom-based projects. Since the program’s inception in 1994, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives have funded more than 8,800 Bright Ideas projects and awarded more than $9.1 million in Bright Ideas grants to Tar Heel teachers, reaching more than 1.6 million students in subjects including math, reading, science and technology, music and the arts. This year alone the electric cooperatives will distribute approximately $600,000 to deserving teachers statewide. Grant applications are accepted from April through September. North Carolina K-12 teachers may learn more at

Sponsoring the grants recognized at the awards luncheon are Central Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), based in Sanford; Four County EMC, Burgaw; North Carolina EMC, Raleigh; Piedmont EMC, Hillsborough; South River EMC, Dunn; and Wake EMC, Wake Forest.

The Bright Ideas education grant program is an 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.