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 October!

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.
John Scarfpin

Mr. John Scarfpin
Havelock High School
havelock, N.C.

Mr. John Scarfpin is being recognized as Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative’s Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. >Carteret-Craven EC is proud to have invested in Scarfpin’s project, “Digital Dilemma.”

“Mr. Scarfpin goes the extra mile for his students at Havelock High School,” said Lisa Galizia, Director of Communications at Carteret Craven EC. The winning grant submitted by Scarfpin provides Kindle Fire tablets and Amazon Whispercast for his students. Whispercast allows Mr. Scarfpin to distribute engineering content to his students’ tablets, providing them access to up-to-date material on a digital platform.

Mr. Scarfpin and his project will be recognized Saturday, October 7 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Notre Dame game.
Mrs. Robin Mewborn

Mrs. Robin Mewborn
Kenansville Elementary School
Kenansville, N.C.

Economics is the name of the game for this Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation recognizes Mrs. Robin Mewborn as an exceptional educator and Bright Ideas grant winner for her project, “Mewborn’s Market.” This project creates an environment for students to learn about real-life economics through hands-on activities in agriculture. Mewborn’s students become entrepreneurs and earn money by growing and selling produce. They also learn about budgeting by planning how to spend, save and donate their earnings.

Mrs. Mewborn and her project will be recognized Saturday, October 14 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Virginia game.



Mr. Barry Feldman

Mr. Barry Feldman
Central Haywood High School
Clyde, N.C.

Haywood Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Mr. Barry Feldman as their Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Mr. Feldman is a two-time Bright Ideas grant winner and creative science teacher in Haywood County. “We chose Mr. Feldman because of his dedication to his school and his students’ education said Ken Thomas, Manager of Marketing and Communications at Haywood EMC. “He is a hands-on teacher who loves what he does.” In Feldman’s “Riparian Habitat” project, students build and monitor a wetlands installation in their greenhouse. Students will study the native wildlife that calls their riparian habitat home.

Mr. Feldman and his project will be recognized Saturday, October 21 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Virginia Tech game.

Mrs. Kim Collazo

Mrs. Kim Collazo
Robbins Elementary School
Robbins, N.C.

Randolph Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize their Tar Heel Teacher of the Week, Mrs. Kim Collazo and her creative STEM project, “The Launch Pad.” “We love the fact that since she is a STEM teacher, her project was able to reach all K-5 students to help enhance their education through robotic coding and engineering components used in different activities,” said Kathleen Duckworth, Communications & Outreach Specialist at Randolph EMC. Robbins Elementary School’s mascot is the rocket and Collazo wanted to find a unique way to incorporate their mascot into her lesson plan.

Mrs. Collazo and her project will be recognized Saturday, October 28 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Miami game.


Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees are invited to a special recognition event at a Tar Heel Football 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 October.

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!