The Bright Ideas Grant Program, sponsored by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, strives to improve education in North Carolina classrooms by awarding grants to teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects in grades K-12 that would not otherwise be funded. The Bright Ideas program funds creative teaching ideas to meet the needs of area students.
The grant program has awarded $7 million to sponsor 5,900 projects in schools across North Carolina, benefiting more than one million students.
“The Bright Ideas program gives teachers a chance to be creative and develop projects specifically to meet the needs of their students, These grants underwrite educational initiatives the schools could not otherwise afford.”
- Carrie Cameron, manager of communications at Union Power Cooperative.
The funds go to teachers, principals, and other educators serving grades K-12, with awards of up to $2,000 being offered for projects in any discipline.
Volunteer judges, including educators and community leaders, in a competitive evaluation process, screen the grant applications. Judges across the state reviewed more than 1,800 applications this year.
The following schools and teachers from Union County were awarded for their projects:
Piedmont Middle School – Kelly Gallagher and Lana Funderburk won for their project, “Around the World in 180 Days.” ($1,000)
Marvin Ridge High School – David Dahari won for his project, “Computer Programming in Physics & Chemistry.” ($1,422)
Western Union Elementary – Miranda Thomas won for her projects, “Economy for Kids,” ($361) and “The Eagle’s Café.” ($535)
Sun Valley High School – Mary Beth Woodall and Chris Roncone won for their project, “Electric Chairs.” ($1,200). Doug Latta won for his project, “Growing Green for the Community.” ($1,000)
New Town Elementary – Christine Wilson won for her project, “New Town Notables.” ($1,250)
Rocky River Elementary – Brenda Todd won for her project, “On the Wings of Learning.” ($1,500)
Kensington Elementary – Ann Lanwehr won for her project, “Pen-Pals Around the World.” ($1,886)
Wesley Chapel Elementary – Teresa Matheson won for her project, “Podcast Parade.” ($872)
Sandy Ridge Elementary – Melissa LoPresto and Jacob Surratt won for their project, “Wii Love Music and Physical Fitness.” ($489)
Piedmont High School – Susan Helms and Annette Harris won for their project, “Saggar Pottery – Footprints of Carbon.” ($1,750)
Union Power Cooperative is a member-owned electric cooperative, which provides electric service to more than 65,000 members in Union, Stanly, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Rowan counties.