Piedmont Electric Cooperative awards more than $50,000 to local teachers through Bright Ideas Education Grant Program

Photo caption: Six educators from North Elementary in Caswell County received funding for their creative class projects through the Bright Ideas education grant program. (Back row left to right) Ryan Moretz, Mauriah Smith, Carla Murray. (Front row left to right) Kellie Smith, Julia Fair, Katie Louhoff.
Photo caption: Six educators from North Elementary in Caswell County received funding for their creative class projects through the Bright Ideas education grant program.
(Back row left to right) Ryan Moretz, Mauriah Smith, Carla Murray. (Front row left to right) Kellie Smith, Julia Fair, Katie Louhoff.

Hillsborough, N.C., (Oct. 22, 2021) Piedmont Electric Cooperative has awarded $50,430 in Bright Ideas education grants to 33 local teachers to fund engaging projects for their students. More than 9,500 students at schools in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Orange and Person counties will benefit from these grants.
“We are grateful for our amazing educators that make a positive difference in students’ lives,” said Steve Hamlin, Piedmont Electric president and general manager. “Supporting these innovative class projects through the Bright Ideas education grant program is just one of the ways we follow through on our seventh cooperative principle, Concern for Community.”
Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Piedmont Electric has contributed more than $600,000 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 $13.6 million in Bright Ideas funding for nearly 12,922 projects supporting teachers and benefitting more than 2.7 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 2022.
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 Cooperative 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. Visit www.pemc.coop for more information.
Bright Ideas Grant Recipients 2021

Applicant Name County Subject School
Kelly A. Poquette Alamance Movement, Music, and Friends! Alamance Virtual School
Rachel Yarbrough Alamance Flexible Seating Improves Learning Altamahaw Ossipee
Amanda Haney Caswell The Power of Biographies: Providing Mirrors and Opening Windows Oakwood Elementary
Brittini Macedo Caswell My Smartest Artists are KIL’N it! Stoney Creek Elementary
Carla Murray, Mauriah Smith Caswell Diversity for ALL! North Elementary – Providence
Julia Fair Caswell Handy Handbells North Elementary – Providence
Katie Louhoff, Mauriah Smith Caswell Storytelling for the Win! North Elementary – Providence
Kellie Smith Caswell Popping with Excitement to Learn North Elementary – Providence
Leslie W Gehris Caswell Hydroponics and Composter N.L. Dillard Middle School
Mauriah Smith Caswell Creative Coders! North Elementary – Providence
Ryan Moretz Caswell Everyone Gets a Heartrate Monitor! North Elementary – Providence
Abigail Thompson Durham Wet and Wild Water quality Northern High
Jennifer Ruth Scoggin, Tommy Johnson Durham Friends Beekeeper Project – Growing the Apiary Carolina Friends School
Jenny Bailey, Adam Davidson, Glenn Walters, Kim Bowers, Michelle Dennis Durham Potted Pirates: An OCS/EC & Engineering Student Collaboration Riverside High
Sarah Laughhunn, Bart Gonzalez, Eric Long, Jenny Bailey, Perry Tharrington Durham Riverside Coffee Bar Riverside High
Dasie Roberts, Maureen Bellissimo, Holly Carroll Granville Story Walkabout Stovall-Shaw Elementary
Becky Wilson Orange Goooood Morning, Bulldogs from WALS! A L Stanback Middle
Brett Stegall, Katie Moorehead Orange Carrboro High Amphitheater Carrboro High School
Christie Williams Orange Soft Start STEM Bins Grady Brown Elementary
Dianne Vetter Orange Teeing Off to Equity Glenwood Elementary
Kimberly Christian, Ashley Clark Orange Environmental Lit Justice: Using Novels in the Science Classroom A L Stanback Middle
Kristie R Mabry, Wyn Payton Orange Team work makes the Dream work! A L Stanback Middle
Patrick Mitchell, Tony Widder Orange Outdoor Classroom River Park Elementary
Robin Bulleri, Christina Augustine, Paula Dey Orange Synthesizing Science and Social Justice Carrboro High School
Selena Masse Orange Social Studies Extension Activities in Literacy and STEM Orange Middle
Amanda Bedo Person What a Year! Woodland Elementary
Ashley Bailey, Russell Fryczynski Person Hands on Minds on – Scientific Inquiry with modeling Roxboro Community School
Douglas Glenning Person The Learning Spike North End Elementary
Jennifer Innis Person Engineering is Incredibly Elementary Person County Virtual Academy
Jill Clayton Person Saving Lives Roxboro Community School
Lauren Pool Person “Diversity in sports, bringing a new beat” Northern Middle
Pamela M Parham Person Lego Science Person County Virtual Academy
Richard Hughes Person The Laker Drive-In  – An Adventure in Projected Physical Education Woodland Elementary


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