BrightIdeas

Bright Ideas has funded 9,800 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 2 million students who have participated in 9,800 Bright Ideas projects, and given out more than $10.2 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 26 of the most outstanding grant winners in the state for their hard work and positive impact on students.
Greg Watford
Gregory Watford
Hertford County High School
Ahoskie, N.C.

Mr. Gregory Watford’s project, "I Spy Raspberry Pi: Building Computer and Creating Digital Stories from Scratch," has earned him statewide recognition as a Tar Heel Teachers of the Week. Roanoke Electric Cooperative is proud to nominate Watford, whose project gives high school students the opportunity to incorporate new technology skills in the study of literature. Watford’s project helps students stay ahead of the learning curve as technology continues to advance.

Mr. Watford and his project will be recognized Saturday, October 15 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Miami game.

Bradley Kidd
Bradley Kidd
North Moore High School
Robbins, N.C.

Mr. Bradley Kidd is being recognized as Randolph Electric Membership Corporation’s Tar Heel Teacher of the week during the month of October. Randolph EMC, based in Asheboro, is proud to have invested in Kidd’s project, “Agricultural Hydroponic Laboratory.” The project sparks students’ interest in the state’s largest industry: agriculture and farming. By using modern technology and equipment, Kidd’s project will give ag-minded kids valuable experience and an advantage in the future.

Mr. Kidd and his project will be recognized Saturday, October 8 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Virginia Tech game.
Jones Onslow

Mrs. Amy Perry
Parkwood Elementary School
Jacksonville, N.C.



Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation is proud to recognize Mrs. Perry as not only an exceptional educator but also as a multi-year Bright Ideas grant winner. Perry’s latest project, “Growing Good Health”, utilizes aeroponic growing systems for 2nd and 4th grade students. Her grant enables students to grow and enjoy economically smarter and healthier food options from their in-class garden. Students are also learning what it means to give back, as the vegetables are donated to local children in need through the "CHEW: Children Healthy Eating on the Weekend" program.

Mrs. Perry and her project will be recognized Saturday, October 1 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Florida State game.



Karen Gray
Karen Gray
Rutherfordton Elementary School
Rutherfordton, N.C.

Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation has chosen Mrs. Karen Gray to serve as their Tar Heel Teacher of the Week. Mrs. Gray is a physical education teacher and role model for her students. Her project, “Fit-4-Life,” is being recognized on statewide level for its focus on getting students active and making healthier choices. The project continues to benefit students year over year, as it created the Rocket Fitness Club for students to meet every day afterschool to work out and learn about healthy habits.

Mrs. Gray and her project will be recognized Saturday, October 22 during the radio broadcast of the UNC vs. Virginia game.


All of the Tar Heel Teacher of the Week nominees will receive four tickets to a Tar Heel Football game and 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 26 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 September.

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 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!