There is celebration in classrooms across the area with the announcement of the latest Bright Ideas Grant winners. A total of 52 grants were chosen for funding in the amount of $67,922. These grants will impact the lives of 11,460 students this year alone!
Checks were presented Saturday, Nov. 3 at the 14th annual Touchstone Energy Cotton Festival in downtown Dunn.
Fourteen Sampson County teachers were on hand to accept checks for their classes. Those awarded funding were:
Clement Elementary- Jennifer Jackson
Clement Elementary- Selma Turlington
Hargrove Elementary- Laura Quellhorst
Hobbton Elementary- Elouise Phipps
Hobbton Elementary- Carrie Sutton
Hobbton High- Danielle George
Hobbton Middle- Lisa Carr
Hobbton Middle- Janet Massey
Hobbton Middle- Anna Rouse
Lakewood High- Shawn Williams
Midway Elementary- Michelle Milliken
Plainview Elementary- Tiffany Babb
Plainview Elementary-Cynthia Lee
Roseboro Salemburg Middle- Jennifer Gemma Butler
“The Bright Ideas grant program continues to be a valuable resource for teachers across North Carolina,” said Catherine O’Dell, vice president of member services and public relations. “We are proud to be part of a program that has had such a profound impact on the education of so many of North Carolina’s children – and future leaders.”
The decision of which applications to fund was not an easy one for there were 194 Bright Ideas Grant applications submitted for consideration. The teachers represented 28 schools from four counties. Winning applications were chosen based on the innovative presentation of their idea and a well written application.
“Teachers are creative by nature and they are especially skilled when it comes to demonstrating a need in their classroom,” said O’Dell. “This passion, which is evident in every application, makes the selection process especially challenging.”
Funding is normally around $50,000, but Bright Ideas received a grant for $15,000 from the Cooperative’s foundation through Operation Round Up. This provided an even greater opportunity for instructors to bring innovative learning experiences to their classrooms. For more information on the program, please visit sremc.com or ncbrightideas.com.
South River EMC is a locally-owned and operated electric cooperative, which provides electric service to 42,000 homes, farms and businesses in parts of Harnett, Cumberland, Sampson, Johnston and Bladen counties.
Four County grants
Four County Electric Membership Corporation granted a total of $19,706 to teachers in Bladen, Duplin, Pender and Sampson counties through the Cooperative’s Bright Ideas program. The teachers were among 150 educators honored Friday, Nov. 16 at the annual Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon at the Dail Club at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. Stacey Bess, an inspirational educator, author, and a leading advocate in the nation for the educational rights of impoverished children, gave the keynote address.
Twenty-one creative teaching projects were funded by Four County Electric Membership Corporation that will benefit approximately 4,000 students in 14 different schools within the Four County EMC service territory.
“Bright Ideas gives our teachers additional resources for creative projects that are outside normal funding parameters,” said Gay Johnson, Director of Corporate Communications at Four County EMC. “We’re thrilled to provide these exceptional teachers with new tools to bring memorable learning experiences to students.”
The winning teachers and projects from Sampson County
Shannon Jones, Union Elementary, Step on it! We have a lot to learn! - $625
Kathy Strapko, Rhonda Long, Union Elementary, I’m Not Afraid to Say It! -$615
Kimberly Childers, Union Intermediate, Nabi Who! Nabi 2! 21st Century Tablet For Kids! — $1,319
Nikki Willis, Union Middle School, Super Students Starving for Stellar Books! — $563
Theresa Elias, Union High, Visual Voices – Powerful Offerings-$567
Felicia Lamb, Union Elementary, Engaging with Texts- $1,782
Bambi Dove, Union Elementary, Listen to Reading- $500
Since Bright Ideas originated in 1994, Four County EMC has granted $318,274 to local teachers. The program provides the means for innovative and creative projects that schools could otherwise not afford. A portion of the money for the program comes from the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives, with the remaining funds contributed by Four County EMC. The electric cooperatives’ Bright Ideas program is the only education grant program exclusively for K-12 educators in schools across North Carolina.
“Our judges score each application by how it directly involves students, how many students are affected, overall goals and objectives, creativity, and ongoing benefits for students to come,” Gay Johnson, director of Corporate Communications, explains, “This year we received 65 applications from local teachers. We are excited to see so many teachers put forth the effort in creating unique projects for their students,” she stated.
Four County Electric Membership Corporation is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative that serves approximately 32,500 members in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow counties. More information about the Bright Ideas program is available at www.fourcty.org.