Grants of up to $2,000 are available to certified N.C. teachers for innovative classroom-based projects. The Bright Ideas education grant program is currently the only program in the state exclusively for classroom educators.
“We understand the dire need in classrooms across the state of North Carolina and have made education a priority for the last 17 years,” said Gay Johnson, director of corporate communications with Four County EMC. “The Bright Ideas program is a reflection of the electric cooperatives' commitment to bettering the communities in which we serve and we believe there is no better way to make a difference than by educating our youth.”
Since its inception, the Bright Ideas grant program has awarded more than $7 million in grant money to North Carolina’s teachers to sponsor more than 6,500 projects benefiting more than 1.2 million students.
Teachers with ideas for a class project visit ncbrightideas.com and complete an application. Spelling and grammar are important components to grant writing and grant writing tips are available on the Bright Ideas Web site.
To receive a grant the project must directly involve students, seek to achieve clearly defined goals and learning objectives, use innovative and creative teaching methods, provide ongoing benefits to students, and feature measurable results that can be evaluated upon completion.
Applicants must be certified to teach in North Carolina K-12 schools. The school principal must review and approve the project proposal and requests for salaries or professional development will be denied.
South River EMC will be funding $50,000 in educational grants through Bright Ideas this year. Since 1994, North Carolina's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have funded $7.1 million in grants, which have touched the lives of over 1 million North Carolina students. In 2009, South River was able to fund almost $68,000 in grants. That brings South River EMC's Bright Ideas contribution up to $531,000 in classrooms since 1994.
The primary elements of the application process include an explanation of the project and how it will benefit students. The application and several winning project examples can be found on the Bright Ideas website, www.ncbrightideas.com as well as contact information for those teachers who have questions or require more information.