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

Piedmont Electric Cooperative has awarded $50,309 in Bright Ideas education grants to 34 local teachers to fund engaging projects for their students. More than 8,387 students at schools in Caswell, Durham, Orange and Person counties will benefit from these grants awarded for projects in all subject areas such as music, art, history, reading, science, math and more.

“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.”

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 the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Piedmont Electric has contributed more than $700,000 to local teachers. In addition, Piedmont Electric is one of 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina’s who collectively have awarded more than $15 million in Bright Ideas funding for nearly 14,200 projects supporting teachers and benefitting more than 3.5 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 2024. The Bright Ideas grant program is part of Piedmont Electric’s ongoing commitment to building a brighter future through community support of education. To learn more about Bright Ideas grants, visit ncbrightideas.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

2023 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

Applicant Name County Project Name School Students Affected
Katie Louhoff Caswell Storyboards & Sensory North Elementary – Providence 350
Janice Castle Caswell Graphic Novels for All! North Elementary – Providence 350
Amanda Haney Caswell Now Hear This! Oakwood Elementary 350
Julia Fair Caswell Totally Tootular Oakwood Elementary 400
Hilary Dodson Moore Caswell Super Science STEAM Lab Stoney Creek Elementary 150
Bryan Christopher Durham Upgrading Riverside’s scholastic media programs Riverside High 1800
Kenisha Smith Orange Bulldogs Got Something To Say!! A L Stanback Middle 375
Kimberly Clark Orange Water, Water Everywhere: Water Quality Empowerment A L Stanback Middle 200
Robert L Ballard Orange NASCAR RACECAR Chapel Hill High 110
Hannah Murphy Orange Color Printer for Excited Artists Ephesus Road Elementary 350
Whitney Williams Orange Outdoor Classroom Grady Brown Elementary 400
Christine Lutz Orange Magnetic Letters and Boards for First Grade classroom Grady Brown Elementary 20
Natalia Johns Orange To Reading Through Spelling Grady Brown Elementary 50
Teresa Touchette Orange Robotics 2:  Coding Dash Grady Brown Elementary 65
Clotilde Riley Orange Hands ON-Minds ON ! Guy Phillips Middle School 50
Rita Singh Orange Creek Exploration Mary Scroggs Elementary 400
Kathryn Cole Orange A True Book FAIR: Bringing Literacy Joy to All Northside Elementary 415
Robin Smith Leissner Orange Learning is Outta This Atmosphere with Spheros! Pathways Elementary 200
Melissa Barry Orange Hands On Math R.D. and Euzelle P. Smith Middle School 60
Patrick Mitchell Orange After School Competitive Robotics Club River Park Elementary 15
Dory Newkirk Person A Bundle of Bee Bots Helena Elementary 500
Melissa White Person Cardio Drumming Fitness Helena Elementary 530
Heather Clarke Person Encouraging Creative Thinking with Hands On Activities North Elementary – Roxboro 200
Kristen Clayton Person The Incredible Egg! Oak Lane Elementary 40
Melisa Poindexter Person STEMing into the future! Oak Lane Elementary 43
Pamela M Parham Person Design Factory Person County Virtual Academy 20
Ashley M Bailey Person Let it Glow – Biotech fun in Biology Roxboro Community School 120
Hiedi Gustin Person Reset, Relax, Refresh South Elementary 485
Kristin Hernandez Person Jean Jacket Juggernaut South Elementary 60
Elizabeth Sinnott Person Properly Pin-Pointing Properties South Elementary 60
Kelly Pearce Person Our Future is Bright! Southern Middle 90
Lauren Pool Person “Diffability”-  “Differences are all the Difference” Stories Creek Elementary 100
Katy Watson Person iPads for Bright iDeas! Stories Creek Elementary 29

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.

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