Local teachers continue to share their Bright Ideas

November 16, 2013

The latest announcement of Bright Ideas grant winners had many classrooms and schools buzzing with excitement and anticipation recently. A total of 57 grants were chosen for funding in the amount of $71,926.62. These grants will impact the lives of at least 8,966 students in our community this year alone!

Checks were presented Saturday, Nov. 2 at the 15th annual Touchstone Energy Cotton Festival in downtown Dunn.

“Teachers have come to depend on Bright Ideas grants to help provide the exceptional learning opportunities that are often sacrificed when budgets are cut,” said Catherine O’Dell, vice president of member services and public relations. “I am always amazed by the resourcefulness and creativity of educators who are eager to provide their students with an educational learning experience not just another day in the classroom!”

The decision of which applications to fund is never an easy one for there were 212 Bright Ideas Grant applications submitted for consideration, up in recent years because of lower funding in education. The selected teachers represented 34 schools from four counties. Winning applications were chosen based on the innovative presentation of their idea and a well written application.

“Teachers are creative by nature and they are especially skilled when it comes to demonstrating a need in their classroom,” said O’Dell. “This passion, which is evident in every application, makes the selection process especially challenging.”

Funding is normally around $50,000, but the Bright Ideas program received a grant for $22,000 from the Cooperative’s foundation through Operation Round Up. This provided an even better opportunity for instructors to bring innovative learning experiences to their classrooms. For more information on the program, please visit the Bright Ideas section at or

South River EMC is a locally-owned and operated electric cooperative, which provides electric service to 42,000 homes, farms and businesses in parts of Harnett, Cumberland, Sampson, Johnston and Bladen counties.