BrightIdeas

Bright Ideas has funded 9,800 education grants in N.C. Will yours be next?



At North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, we believe there is no more important investment than in our state’s youth. That’s why for more than 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 2 million students who have participated in 9,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.2 million. Each year, close to 600 grants are funded across the state.



Tar Heel Teacher of the Week
Congratulations to our Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teachers of the Week for the month of November!

Every year, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives contribute about $600,000 to N.C. educators through our Bright Ideas Education Grant program. Now, the co-ops are recognizing 26 of the most outstanding grant winners in the state for their hard work and positive impact on students.
Surry Yadkin

Mr. Michael Holleman
North Wilkes Middle School
North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation is proud to name Michael Holleman as a Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Holleman’s “Going Solar” project teaches students how to analyze a site for solar energy generation potential. With this grant project, Mr. Michael Holleman hopes his students will begin to consider various career opportunities in technology and sustainable energy.

Mr. Holleman and his project will be recognized Saturday, November 5 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Georgia Tech game.

Tideland EMC

Mrs. Morgan Kennedy
Pamlico County Primary
Bayboro, N.C.

Tideland Electric Membership Cooperation is proud to recognize a standout educator in Pamlico County, Mrs. Morgan Kennedy, as a Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Kennedy’s project, “Sensory Room,” creates a positive environment for students in need of a break from the regular classroom setting.

Ms. Kennedy and her project will be recognized Saturday, November 25 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. NC State game.



Wake EMC

Mrs. Cindy Williams
Northern Nash High School
Rocky Mount, N.C.

Worms. Grasshoppers. Frogs. Those are just a few of the organisms biology students in Ms. Cindy Williams’ class will get to know through her Bright Ideas grant project, “EWW… (Exploring Energy with Worms and Other Organisms).” Sponsored by Wake Electric, this project allows students to study energy and the complexity of organisms through dissection. Participating high school students will then share what they learn with preschoolers to help get them excited about science.

Ms. Williams and her project will be recognized Saturday, November 19 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. The Citadel game.
Tri County

Mr. Steven Thorne
Charles B. Aycock High School
Pikeville, N.C.

Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation is recognizing Mr. Steven Thorne on a statewide level for his #NCBrightIdeas grant project “Going Deep-Underwater Robotics.” Students participating in the project will design, build and test underwater robot, and then put their robots to work in an outreach program partnering with local YMCA summer camps.

Mr. Thorne and his project will be recognized Saturday, November 10 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Duke game.



Pitt and Greene

Mrs. Jane Shrader
Farmville Middle School
Farmville, N.C.

Pitt & Greene Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Mrs. Jane Shrader as a Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Shrader’s project, “Who does your circuit glow?” is a hands on learning experience for her students. Through this project, the students learn about circuits and electricity. Shrader’s #NCBrightIdeas project helps engage the students as they work in teams to design and problem solve.

Mrs. Shrader and her project will be recognized Friday, November 11 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Tulane basketball game and on Tuesday, November 15 during the UNC vs. Long Beach State game. .



All of the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees will receive four tickets to a Tar Heel football or basketball game and a plaque commemorating their achievements.

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.

Once again, congratulations to all of the Tar Heel Teachers of the Week for the month of November.

Will your project be next?

The application process kicks off in April and lasts through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring co-op in your area.

Grant Winners from Randolph EMC

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 out more about North Carolina's electric cooperatives and the cooperatives’ community programs we support.






Bright Ideas recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. See how Bright Ideas impacted teachers and students by watching our celebration video!