BrightIdeas

Celebrating 20 years of Bright Ideas grants

At North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for the past 20 years, the electric co-ops have offered Bright Ideas education grants to Tar Heel teachers in K-12 classrooms across the state.

Bright Ideas grants provide funding for innovative, classroom-based projects that would otherwise not be possible. Since 1994, we have touched the lives of more than 1.6 million students who have participated in 8,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $9.1 million.

Applications are being accepted through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring electric cooperative in your area.

Congratulations to our Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week!

Mrs. Kim Connors
West View Elementary School
Garner, N.C.

Mrs. Kim Connors is an exceptional teacher who develops creative strategies to help her K-3 students build a strong foundation for future learning. South River EMC, based in Dunn, nominated Mrs. Connors for recognition on a statewide level and sponsored her latest Bright Ideas grant project, “Differentiation at the Station.” This project engages students with technology to boost math, reading and writing proficiency. At iPad stations, learners practice 21st century skills and instructors can work with individuals and small groups to develop deeper understanding of concepts.

Mrs. Connors will be recognized as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week on the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Clemson game on Saturday, Sept. 27. She will receive four tickets to a Tar Heel football game and a plaque commemorating her achievement.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives make possible the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week and Bright Ideas education grant programs in support of education and local communities. Only 26 exceptional North Carolina teachers will be honored as Teachers of the Week this year. For more information about South River EMC, click here. For more information about the co-ops’ commitment to community, click here.

Congratulations to you, Mrs. Connors, and thank you for lighting up learning for your students!




See how Bright Ideas impacts teachers and students by watching our 20th anniversary celebration video:


This year, the cooperatives expect to award about $600,000 to educators at schools across the state for projects in a variety of disciplines including music, art, history, reading, science, career-planning and information technology. To find out if your school is eligible or to determine the final application deadline in your area, click the “Search for My School” tab above.

Applications are accepted each year from April through mid-September, and the program offers a convenient and simple online application process. The final deadline depends on your school’s sponsoring electric cooperative. Educators may apply as individuals or as a team for the grants, which are awarded in a competitive evaluation process by individual electric cooperatives throughout the state.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are committed to the communities they serve. Find about more about the cooperatives’ community programs here.