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Program Funds Innovative Classroom Projects in Brunswick and Columbus Counties

Supply, N.C., November 1, 2017 – The day just got a little brighter for 26 area teachers in Brunswick and Columbus counties who have been awarded a combined total of $33,204 in Bright Ideas education grants from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC).

Now in its 23rd year, the Bright Ideas grant program funds innovative classroom projects that may otherwise not be funded.

“BEMC is pleased to provide this grant program each year,” said Don Hughes, CEO and general manager of BEMC. “We know that funding for extra projects and supplies is often limited and we are glad we can partner with these teachers to help fund the educational needs of area students.”

Projects awarded include Renewable Resources at Guideway Elementary and Building Better Readers at Hallsboro-Artesia Elementary in Columbus County, as well as Microscopy at Leland Middle and Tower Gardens at Southport Elementary. Other winning project topics included STEM-related programs, history, financial programs and technology purchases. 

“More than two decades ago, a BEMC employee recognized the need for additional educational resources in our local schools when she saw a teacher purchasing extra school supplies for her students with her own money,” said Hughes. “Bright Ideas came from that encounter and has since been adopted statewide by all of North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives.”

In the month of November all of North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award teachers statewide almost $600,000 in Bright Ideas education grants.

Since the program started in 1994, BEMC has contributed more than $580,000 to teachers in Columbus and Brunswick counties. Across the state, 26 electric cooperatives collectively have awarded almost $11 million to teachers for innovative projects in all subjects, including math, reading, science and technology, history, math and the arts.

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through late September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive process by a panel of local judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2018. 

Click here for a full list of 2017/18 grant recipients. 



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