North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are ready to help teachers across the state with innovative classroom projects.
Grant applications for the Bright Ideas Education grant program are now accepting applications through September. Since the mid-90s, Bright Ideas have effected more than 2 million students who benefited from close to 9,800 projects. Since that time period, more than $10.2 million have been awarded.
Educators are allowed to apply as individuals or as a team for the competitive process though the states 26 electric cooperatives. Each year, thousands of applications are accepting for projects such as art, history, reading music, and science. Locally, grant are awarded through the South River EMC and Four County EMC organizations. The listed maximum amount for each grant is $2,000.
Faith Jackson, community liaison and grant writer for Clinton City Schools (CCS), said it’s a great opportunity for teachers to expand opportunities in the classroom. Some of the projects in the school system included a message board used for a marketing project, reading and Google Chromebooks.
“The South River partnership and being able to apply and have that opportunity stresses our teachers’ imagination,” Jackson said. “It helps them to think of ways outside the box when it comes to getting students involved and to bring creativity to their classroom.”
Each year, CCS and Sampson County Schools acknowledges educators who receive grants from Bright Ideas.
“We hope that more teachers will apply and more teachers will take advantage of the opportunity,” Jackson said. “It’s about getting our students the things they need to be creative. That’s what Bright Ideas is about.”
Susan Warren, public relations specialist for Sampson County Schools, showed appreciation for Bright Ideas and the local cooperatives.
“Bright Ideas grants are a crucial source of funding for our teachers,” Warren said. “Over the last few years our supply funding has been cut in many areas. Bright Ideas provides teacher mini-grants for innovative and supplemental classroom projects where funding may not be available.”
Last year, Sampson County classrooms received more than $30,00 in funding from Bright Ideas.
“Our teachers work really hard to secure this grant funding and our school system is very thankful for the support South River and Four County Electric provide to our schools,” Warren said. “I encourage all teachers to get out there and write grants to help fund their classrooms projects.”
Some of the selection criteria for proposed projects include the involvement of students, using innovative and creative teaching methods and results that can be evaluated after completion. Funding will not be allowed for field trips or to fund travel expenses for special guests. If equipment is requested, educators must explain how the project will be used in innovative way in a classroom.
The early-bird deadline is Aug. 15. Applicants who submit their projects on or before this date will be eligible to win a $100 Visa gift card. Sept. 23 is the final deadline to apply in many locations in schools throughout Sampson County.
For more information about qualifications, tips and details, visit www.ncbrightideas.com