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 December!

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 25 of the most outstanding grant winners in the state for their hard work and positive impact on students.
Jeanna Arrington

Jeanna Arrington
Hoke County High
Raeford, N.C.

Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize a special education teacher offering a unique, hands-on experience to her students. Jeanna Arrington’s project, “Growing Goodness,” will teach children with various disabilities gardening and cooking skills. Her Hoke County students will learn the skills needed to take vegetables from their garden to their self-contained classroom kitchen for cooking. Activities will complement an ongoing self-help curriculum, while integrating reading, math, and science into cooking and gardening activities.

Mrs. Arrington and her project will be recognized December 20 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs Wofford basketball game.
Bill Sorenson

Bill Sorenson
South Stanly High
Norwood, N.C.

Pee Dee Electric is proud to sponsor a Bright Ideas project aimed at combining reading and robotics. Their Tar Heel Teacher of the Week, Bill Sorenson, is bringing reading to life through the use of human-like robots. His project, “Reading Robots,” uses humanoids to introduce the next generation to robots. The robots respond to commands and text as students read to them. Mr. Sorenson says in the future his students will grow up with robots being a part of their daily lives and wants to get them acclimated to emerging technology early.

Mr. Sorenson and his project will be recognized December 30 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs Wake Forest basketball game.

Laura Cole

Laura Cole
Harris Middle School
Spruce Pine, N.C.

French Broad Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Laura Cole of Mitchell County Schools as their Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. By incorporating drumming into her classroom, Cole hopes to get her students up and moving. Her project, “Let’s Drum!” provides a unique opportunity for middle school music students to learn drumming techniques and rhythm reading by participating in a percussion ensemble. Students will experience a variety of drumming rhythms from around the world.

Mrs. Cole and her project will be recognized December 1 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs Davidson basketball game.
Morgan Edwards




Morgan Edwards
Morgan Edwards Maysville Elementary School
Maysville, N.C.

Jones Onslow Electric Membership Corporation is recognizing an educator dedicated to bringing STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) to her students. JOEMC’s Tar Heel Teacher of the Week, Morgan Edwards, is using LittleBits robotics kits to spark interest in STEAM. Edward’s project, “Breaking the Code,” uses robotics to prepare students to be competitive in a technology-driven world.

Mrs. Edwards and her project will be recognized December 6 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs Western Carolina basketball game.
Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees are invited to a special recognition event at a Tar Heel Basketball game and receive 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 25 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 December.

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!