Piedmont Electric awards more than $50,000 to local teachers through Bright Ideas education grant program

Bright Ideas Education Grants - Light bulb graphic

Hillsborough, N.C., (Nov. 11, 2020) Piedmont Electric has awarded $50,193 in Bright Ideas education grants to 31 local teachers to fund engaging projects for their students. More than 8,170 students at schools in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Orange and Person counties will benefit from these grants.

“Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, our educators went above and beyond for our students,” said Steve Hamlin, Piedmont Electric president and CEO. “We are proud to be able to support these incredible educators and give back to our communities through the Bright Ideas education grant program.”

Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Piedmont Electric has contributed more than $550,000 to local teachers.

Typically, these grants bring creative projects to life inside classrooms. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Piedmont Electric has been flexible with the types of projects awarded to ensure that all students are able to benefit, whether they are in the classroom or learning remotely. Grants are awarded for projects in all subject areas such as music, art, history, reading, science, math and more.

Piedmont Electric is one of 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina offering Bright Ideas grants to local teachers. The funding for Piedmont Electric’s Bright Ideas education grants comes from the Piedmont Electric Helping Hand Foundation which is supported by generous members who round up their monthly electric bills. Since 1994, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $12.9 million in Bright Ideas funding for nearly 12,359 projects supporting teachers and benefitting more than 2.5 million students.

Bright Ideas grant applications are accepted by Piedmont Electric each year from April through mid-September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2021.

The Bright Ideas grant program is part of Piedmont Electric’s ongoing commitment to building a brighter future through community support of education.

Follow Piedmont Electric on Facebook to see how programs, such as Bright Ideas, are impacting local students and communities. To learn more about Bright Ideas grants, visit ncbrightideas.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Piedmont Electric is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 33,000 electric accounts in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Orange and Person counties. Piedmont Electric exists to serve our members and improve the quality of life in our communities through local employment, economic development, business engagement, youth education, grants to educators, advocacy for energy issues, community involvement, broadband connectivity and emergency preparedness support.

Piedmont Electric’s 2020 Bright Ideas winners are:

Applicant Name Grant Title School County
Emily Quadrio Design a Hydroponic System Career and Technical Education School Alamance
Laura Bivins Mind-Up! Altamahaw Ossipee Alamance
Paige Ysteboe Reading from Home: Ebooks for Kids Western Alamance Middle Alamance
Jennifer Tripp Gerringer Gardens: Literacy Circle Garrett Elementary Alamance
Mauriah Smith Sew, Sew, Sew Much Fun! North Elementary – Providence Caswell
Brittini Macedo Art Room Re-Boot- Let’s Get Creating! South Elementary Caswell
Amanda Haney Virtual Books for Virtual Learners! Oakwood Elementary Caswell
Ryan Moretz The Heart of PE North Elementary – Providence Caswell
Tya Tyrrell Creekside Community Garden Creekside Elementary Durham
Demikia Taylor Outdoor Animal Learning Project Northern High Durham
Tyler D’Angelo Enhancing STEM With Gel Electrophoresis George L. Carrington Middle Durham
Theresa M Torian Using Our Genius with Generation Genius Little River Elementary Durham
Jamie Turnage Spark Our Robotics Interest with Sphero Bolt Robots Hillsborough Elementary Orange
Natalia Johns Words Children’s Way Grady Brown Elementary Orange
Jeremy Wilson Tinkering with Arduinos Partnership Academy Alternative Orange
Patrick J Mitchell Real World Competitive Robotic Solutions Cameron Park Elementary Orange
Melissa R Barry Family Connections Book Club R.D. and Euzelle P. Smith Middle School Orange
Jenny Ainslie The Thinking Classroom with Wipebook A L Stanback Middle Orange
Lorena Gatlin Team Read Grey Culbreth Middle Orange
Wayne Wilson Send Out the Music Pathways Elementary Orange
Cecilia Milla Incorporating the Raspberry Pi Orange Senior High Orange
Dakarai Bryant Plants and Podcasting – Engaging learners through scientific inquiry Roxboro Community School Person
David Jones Friends don’t let friends borrow tools Person High Person
Ashley Knott Drums Alive! North End Elementary Person
Sheryl Atkinson Outdoor Classroom/Greenhouse Southern Middle Person
Heather Virtual classroom 360! Helena Elementary Person
Melisa Poindexter & Julie Goodwin Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Oak Lane Elementary Person
Christy Carver Scholastic Weekly Readers Helena Elementary Person
LaJeanne M Ashley All Eyes on Me Helena Elementary Person
Mequail Wilkerson Masks From Love Northern Middle Person
Elizabeth Sinnott Taking Take-Home Technology to the Next Level! South Elementary Person
Photo caption: Christy Carver, Heather DiMeo and LaJeanne Ashley (left to right) from Helena Elementary received funding for their creative class projects through the Bright Ideas education grant program.
Photo caption: Christy Carver, Heather DiMeo and LaJeanne Ashley (left to right) from Helena Elementary received funding for their creative class projects through the Bright Ideas education grant program.