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!

Rochelle Whiteside
Pender High School
Burgaw, N.C.


“Moore’s Creek Anthology”
Rochelle Whiteside

Four County Electric, based in Burgaw, is excited to honor eight-time Bright Ideas grant recipient Ms. Rochelle Whiteside as this week’s Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Ms. Whiteside’s reputation in her community as a dedicated educator, incredible drama teacher and caring mentor to youth is exemplified in her most recent grant initiative — the “Moore’s Creek Anthology” project.

This Bright Ideas project will bring together students from the drama, history, English, music, art, and carpentry departments at Pender High School to stage an entire production about the Revolutionary War Battle at Moore’s Creek. The production, which will be performed for the community at Moore’s Creek Battlefield in April 2015, will serve as a cross-curricular study where students can develop and apply the skills they have already learned in other coursework.

Ms. Whiteside extends her talents and time in the community in which she lives and works for the benefit of the youth. “We applaud Ms. Whiteside for her willingness to put forth the extra effort for her school, students and community,” said Gay Johnson of Four County Electric.

Ms. Whiteside was recognized during the radio broadcast of a UNC basketball game on the Tar Heel Sports network. She received two tickets to a Tar Heels 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 school year.

Four County Electric is a not-for-profit electric Cooperative owned by the people it serves and is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to its more than 32,000 commercial and residential member-owners in six North Carolina counties, For more information about North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ commitment to community, click here.




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.