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!

Ms. Sue Speed
Rodgers Elementary School
Williamston, N.C.

Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, based in Tarboro, is proud to recognize Ms. Sue Speed, media coordinator at Rodgers Elementary in Martin County, on a statewide level as a Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week.

Each day, Ms. Speed seeks to provide her K-5 students with exciting opportunities to expand their understanding. Her Bright Ideas project “Rodgers Elementary Presents Poetry Café” allows students to read and create poetry, publish poems in a storybook, and perform written works in front of an audience. By adding new volumes of poetry books to the library, students will be able to continue the poetry learning adventure for years to come

Ms. Speed will be recognized Saturday, Sept. 6 on the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. San Diego State football game. She will also receive four tickets to a UNC football game.

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 Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, click here. For more information about the co-ops’ commitment to community, click here.

Congratulations, Ms. Speed, and thank you for bringing learning to life 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.