BrightIdeas

Bright Ideas has funded 10,400 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 2.1 million students who have participated in 10,400 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.9 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 February!

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.
Lumbee River

Mrs. Lisa Packer
Stoney Point Elementary
Fayetteville, N.C.

Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation’s Tar Heel Teacher of the Week is creating educational jam sessions with her grant. “That’s my CUE: Chords, Ukuleles & EOG’s,” is a winning grant from Lisa Packer of Cumberland County Schools. She is using ukuleles to teach her students harmonies and chords. The students will create songs using their new musical skills to perform a tune for their EOG testing. The class with the best ukulele song will perform live in front of their entire school at a special pep rally.

Mrs. Packer and her project will be recognized February 27 & March 4 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against Virginia and Duke University.




Gwen Moore

Mrs. Gwen Moore
Mars Hill Elementary School
Mars Hill, N.C.

Cultivating a love of literature is what Tar Heel Teacher of the Week Gwen Moore’s project, “First Books for First Graders,” is all about. French Broad Electric Membership Corporation sponsored her Bright Ideas grant and nominated her for this honor, recognizing her outstanding efforts to provide her first graders with books on their level to help boost their confidence in reading. This book-based project is designed to increase interest in reading and raise academic achievement, building a foundation for lifelong success.

Mrs. Moore and her project will be recognized February 15 & 18 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against N.C. State and Virginia.
Janna Stowe

Mrs. Janna Stowe
Ledford High School
Thomasville, N.C.

EnergyUnited is proud to recognize a teacher bringing hands-on medical training into the classroom. Janna Stowe’s #NCBrightIdeas project, “Health Science Medical Simulation Lab,” provides students with the psychomotor and clinical reasoning skills they will need to go into a medical profession. Using a state-of-the-art medical mannequin and equipment, Stowe’s students have a realistic and risk-free learning tool to explore the functions of the human body. This medical simulation lab is the first of its kind in Davidson County.

Mrs. Stowe and her project will be recognized February 9th during the radio broadcast of the UNC men’s basketball game against Duke University.





Evan Ferguson

Mrs. Evan Ferguson
Cape Hatteras Secondary School
Buxton, N.C.

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative is recognizing a four-time Bright Ideas grant winner, Evan Ferguson, as its Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Ferguson, who teaches foods and marketing education at Cape Hatteras Secondary School, created the “Cape Hatteras Honeybee Project,” to provide materials for her school’s urban beekeeping project. This unique STEM opportunity helps her Biology and Earth/Environment students learn the fundamentals of honeybee life history, development, and colony behavior. Students also learn how important bees are for a healthy ecosystem and understand their role in developing sustainable practices.

Mrs. Ferguson and her project will be recognized February 22 & 25 during the radio broadcasts of the UNC men’s basketball games against Louisville and Pittsburgh.
All of the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees will receive two tickets to a Tar Heel 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 February.

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!