Wake Forest, NC— Electric cooperatives across the state are celebrating a big milestone in 2014: our Bright Ideas education grant program, which provides funding to Tar Heel teachers for innovative learning projects, is turning 20 years old.

Since 1994, educators statewide have received more than $9.1 million in Bright Ideas grant funding, and well over 1.6 million N.C. students have participated in 8,800 Bright Ideas projects. Last year alone, Wake Electric awarded $49,000 for 21 projects supporting local teachers and students.

Wake Electric is now accepting applications for Bright Ideas education grants for the 2014-15 school year. Teachers in K-12 public school classrooms with creative ideas for hands-on learning projects are encouraged to apply for a grant up to $3,000.

Grant applications will be accepted April 1 through September 15. It could pay to apply early: all teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of Aug. 15 will be entered into a drawing for a $500 gift card.

Teachers can apply individually or as a team, and grants are available for all subjects. To apply, or for more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visitwww.wemc.com/brightideas.aspx or www.NCBrightIdeas.com.

Funding for Bright Ideas grants comes from Wake Electric members who agree to round up their light 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.

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