Triangle Teachers Receive $181,000 in Grant Money at Bright Ideas Awards Luncheon

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will honor more than 150 exceptional teachers from the Triangle and surrounding areas on Thursday, Nov. 20 at the sixth annual Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon at the North Raleigh Hilton.  Approximately $181,000 in grant money will be awarded to these teachers whose unwavering commitment to education has earned them the opportunity to finance a classroom project that would otherwise not be funded.

“The Bright Ideas luncheon is an opportunity for us to recognize the outstanding educators who went the extra mile for their students and wrote and won a grant,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

Delivering the keynote address will be Manuel Scott, an original “Freedom Writer,” under the instruction of Erin Gruwell, whose story was told in the Hollywood movie starring Hilary Swank and Patrick Dempsey, “Freedom Writers.”  Scott will tell the story of his transformation from an unreachable high school drop out to a professional with two undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and a graduate degree from Trinity International University.

The luncheon, which is part of a statewide celebration of Bright Ideas month, begins at 11:30 a.m. in Grand Ballrooms 4 and 5.  The North Raleigh Hilton is located at 3415 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC 27609.  During November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award a total of more than $578,000 in Bright Ideas grants to deserving teachers across the state.

Winning teachers attending the luncheon are from Harnett, Cumberland, Sampson, Bladen, Johnston, Duplin, Pender, Durham, Wake, Alamance, Orange, Person, Chatham, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Beaufort, Wayne, Pitt, Franklin, Granville, Nash and Vance counties.

The Bright Ideas grant program awards grants up to $2,000 to North Carolina teachers for innovative classroom-based projects.  Since its inception in 1994, the Bright Ideas program has awarded more than $5.9 million to Tar Heel educators.  The funds have underwritten more than 5,500 projects to improve classroom instruction and encourage creative teaching initiatives, benefiting more than 1 million students throughout the state.

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

The Bright Ideas education grant program is another example of the state’s electric cooperatives’ commitment to community.  North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.