WAKE FOREST, NC— Wake Electric recently awarded 24 teachers in Durham, Franklin, Johnston, Nash and Wake counties with Bright Ideas education grants, totaling more than $49,844 in grant monies. The grants will be used for a variety of classroom programs throughout the school year.

“We’re thrilled to award these dedicated educators with Bright Ideas grants,” said Darnell Alford, Business Operations Specialist and Bright Ideas coordinator for Wake Electric. “Their creative projects will no doubt help students reach their full potential and spark higher interest in learning for years to come.”

Wake Electric offers Bright Ideas grants to individual teachers and administrators at schools operating in counties served by Wake Electric.

Bright Ideas, sponsored by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives (which includes Wake Electric), strives to improve education in North Carolina’s classrooms by awarding grants to teachers in grades K-12 for innovative, classroom-based projects that would not otherwise be funded.

“Wake Electric is committed to bettering the communities we serve, and we believe there is no better way than through the education of our youth,” Alford said.

Since the program’s inception in 1994, the Bright Ideas grant program statewide has funded more than 7,700 projects and awarded more than $7.9 million in grant monies to deserving North Carolina teachers. The overall Bright Ideas program has touched more than 1.4 million students over the life of the program.

Wake Electric’s Bright Ideas grant program has awarded more than $629,800 to area educators since 1994. To learn more about the grant program, visit www.ncbrightideas.comor Wake Electric’s website at www.wemc.com/brightideas.aspx.

Bright Ideas Grant winners for 2012 include:
– Jenny Beaudin, Root Elementary, “Luscious Literature”

– Laura Berube, East Wake Academy, “Creek Keepers of EWA”

– Emily Blair, Banks Road Elementary, “Closing the Gap: Teaching English Learners in the 21st Century”

– Abby Boykin, Corinth Holders High, “Say ‘Cheese’ to Art History and Photography”

– Amber Brewer, Bunn Elementary, “Lengua Literacy”

– Stephanie Caviness, Wilson’s Mills Elementary, “Take-Home Science Investigations”

– Jennifer Causey, Laurel Park Elementary, “Yamaha Music in Education Piano Keyboard Lab”

– Christie Clem, Sanderson High School,”Sports Medicine Rehab Essentials”

– Joan Colalilo Conn Elementary, “Publish Me!: Honoring NC History”

– Trish Dillon, Sycamore Creek Elementary,”We Can Communicate through Touch”

– Windy Edwards, Franklinton High, “Rags to Respectability (A Bridge from High School to Success)”

– Amanda Gosek, Selma Elementary, “iMath”

– Carl Harrington, East Wake Academy, “Community History Online Museum”

– Robin Hiatt, Powhatan Elementary, “Good Morning Powhatan!”

– Chad Holloman, Corinth Holders High, “The Future Is In The Fish- Aquaculture and Hydroponics in High School”

– Carrie Jones, Middle Creek High, “Electrified by STEAM”

– Donna Jones, Edward Best Elementary, “The Natives Are Restless”

– Michele Josey, Hillside High, “Mouse Mischief Extreme”

– Bobbie Lequire, Wilton Elementary, “What is Your Dream?”

– Makenzie Manard, Selma Elementary, “iHeart Reading”

– Jodi Pearson, East Wake Academy, “Flip It: Student Publishers”

– Nancy Shaffer, Terrell Lane Middle, “l Louisburg Franklin Guys’ Reading Connection”

– Brittany Tripp, Southern Nash Middle, “Who Cut Out the Lights? An Energy Resource Investigation”

– Rita Vermeulen, North Forest Pines Elementary, “Flipping On the Switch to Accessible Learning”

The funds for the Bright Ideas grants come from WEMC members who agree to round up their electric bill to the nearest whole dollar through the Operation RoundUp program. For example, if the bill is $190.91 – the bill will be rounded up 9 cents to $191.00. These pennies add up to major dollars. Partial funding also comes from the North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), located in Raleigh, NC. The NCEMC consists of a family of corporations formed to support the state’s 26 electric cooperatives.

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year 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 2013.

Wake Electric is a non-profit electric utility serving over 36,000 members in parts of Franklin, Durham, Granville, Johnston, Vance, Nash, and Wake counties.


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