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!

Mrs. Jessica Thompson Orr
West Pine Elementary School
Seven Lakes, N.C.

Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, based in Asheboro, is proud to nominate Mrs. Jessica Thompson Orr of West Lake Elementary School for recognition on a statewide level. Mrs. Orr’s Bright Ideas project “Stomp Out Bullying” teaches relationship-building skills that create a more cohesive environment at school and will serve students well into their adult lives.

This innovative project helps 21st century learners in grades three through five battle bullying behaviors by learning about friendship skills, social skills, and bystander skills. Adults at the school trained to respond to bullying reports quickly and effectively.

Jessica Orr
Mrs. Orr and her project will be recognized Saturday, Aug. 30 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Liberty football game. Mrs. Orr and three guests will also receive tickets to a UNC football game.

North Carolina’s 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 recognized as Teachers of the Week during this school year. For more information about Randolph Electric, click here. For more information about the co-ops’ commitment to community, click here.

Congratulations, again, to Mrs. Jessica Thompson Orr, our Tar Heel Teacher of the Week!




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.