The Bright Ideas grants program began at Brunswick Electric in 1994, when a staff member recognized the need for additional funding in the local school system. It was quickly adopted statewide by all of North Carolina's Touchstone Energy cooperatives. Overall, this program has provided $11.5 million in funding for about 11,000 innovative teaching projects, benefiting more than 2.2 million students across the state.
Teachers can apply for a grant up to $2,000 for innovative classroom projects that are not funded within the usual school budget process. The application period is April to mid-September annually. All applications must be submitted online at NCBrightIdeas.com. Each year one teacher who applies before the Early Bird deadline will win a special prize, typically a $100 Visa gift card.
Watch this video to learn more about BEMC's Bright Ideas program.