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Bright Ideas grants available

For nearly two decades, EnergyUnited has supported the work of innovative educators who implement unconventional classroom instruction to foster student learning through the Bright Ideas education grant program.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, including EnergyUnited, have earmarked more than $590,000 for the Bright Ideas classroom-based projects for the 2011-12 school year. Teachers can learn more about the program, find the application and an explanation about the process online at www. ncbrightideas.com. Interested educators can apply online beginning Friday, April 1.
The electric cooperatives’ Bright Ideas program is the only one of its kind in the state exclusively for K-12 teachers who otherwise would lack the funds to implement these special classroom-based projects. Grants of up to $2,000 are available through EnergyUnited. The deadline for teachers to submit an application is Friday, Sept. 23. Teachers who submit their application by the early-bird deadline on Monday, Aug. 15 will be entered in a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card.
Last year, EnergyUnited granted nearly $39,000 to 25 classroom teachers throughout the 19-county North Carolina region that the electric cooperative serves. Bright Ideas grants help finance innovative classroom projects that would otherwise not receive funding. The program has sponsored a wide variety of hands-on projects in all disciplines.
“EnergyUnited is proud of the difference this program is making to the quality of education in our state,” said H. Wayne Wilkins, EnergyUnited’s chief executive officer. “Last year, the state’s electric cooperatives collectively distributed more than $594,000 in Bright Ideas grants, and surpassed $7.3 million dollars in contributions since the program began 18 school years ago.”
Since its inception in 1994, the Bright Ideas grant program has sponsored more than 7,000 projects benefiting more than 1.3 million students. EnergyUnited has awarded approximately 500 grants to classroom teachers totaling more than a half million dollars.
“We understand the importance of creativity in the classroom and we’re encouraging innovation through this program,” Wilkins said.
For more information about Bright Ideas, please contact Natasha Suber, Bright Ideas coordinator for EnergyUnited, at 800-822-0197 ext. 1390 or natasha. suber@energyunited.com.

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