DOBSON — A local electricity provider is amping up various projects at area schools through its recent awarding of Bright Ideas education grants to honor teachers and celebrate innovation in the classroom.
The grants, sponsored by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp. based in Dobson and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives as a whole, are available to teachers for innovative, hands-on classroom projects that might not otherwise be funded.
Ten Bright Ideas grants were awarded altogether to educators at area campuses including Mount Airy Middle, J.J. Jones Intermediate and Tharrington Primary in Mount Airy; J. Sam Gentry Middle School; Flat Rock Elementary; Dobson Elementary; and four schools outside Surry County, C.B. Eller Elementary outside Elkin; Starmount High School; West Stokes High; and Old Richmond Elementary, Tobaccoville.
“We’re thrilled to award Bright Ideas grants to these exceptional teachers,” said Adam Martin, manager of public relations for Surry-Yadkin EMC. “Their creative projects will no doubt help students reach their full potential and spark higher interest in learning for years to come.”
Bright Ideas grants might be given for such projects as interactive science labs for animal research, or programs to teach students to be more nutrition- or energy-conscious. One of the goals is getting them enthused about such efforts.
“Surry-Yadkin EMC is committed to bettering the communities we serve, and we believe there is no better way than through the education of our youth,” Martin said.
Grant applications for the program are collected each year through late September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges.
Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Surry-Yadkin EMC has contributed more than $140,000 to local teachers, and North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives collectively have awarded in excess of $10.9 million to educators across the state.
The Bright Ideas initiative has reached more than 2.1 million North Carolina students and sponsored more than 10,400-plus projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts.
Statewide, the electric co-ops are expected to award more than $600,000 in Bright Ideas grant funding to educators this school year.
The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2018.
More information about the Bright Ideas grant program is available at visit syemc.com or the state Bright Ideas website at www.ncbrightideas.com.