BrightIdeas

Bright Ideas has funded 9,200 education grants in N.C. Will yours be next?

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are accepting grant applications through September



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 1.8 million students who have participated in 9,200 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $9.6 million. Each year, close to 600 grants are funded across the state.

Will your project be next?

Applications are accepted annually from April through September. Final application deadlines can vary, depending on the sponsoring electric cooperative 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 about more about the cooperatives’ community programs here.



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

Mrs. Emily Harper
Arapahoe Charter School
Arapahoe, N.C.


It’s the pleasure of Tideland EMC to nominate Mrs. Emily Harper as the Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Mrs. Harper is a fifth grade teacher at Arapahoe Charter School and recent Bright Ideas grant recipient from Tideland EMC. Her Bright Ideas project, which focuses on teaching fifth grade students about conservationism and nature, will have students explore the history and future of the Long Leaf Pine tree in North Carolina. In addition to exposing students to local forestry experts and long leaf forests, Mrs. Harper hopes to eventually be able to purchase a tract of land and teach future generations of fifth graders how they can help manage and protect the endangered species.

“The goal of this project is to open our student's eyes to the natural resources of eastern North Carolina,” Mrs. Harper said. “We hope that our project will help light a conservationist fire in our students.”

Mrs. Harper will be recognized during the radio broadcast of a UNC basketball game on the Tar Heel Sports network. She will receive 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.

Tideland EMC Tideland EMC serves more than 22,000 metered services in Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, Washington, Pamlico and Craven counties. For more information about North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ commitment to community, click here.




Last year, Bright Ideas celebrated its 20th anniversary. See how Bright Ideas impacts teachers and students by watching our celebration video: