Program Funds Innovative Classroom Projects in Brunswick and Columbus Counties
Supply, N.C., November 28, 2018 – The season just got a little brighter for 28 area teachers in Brunswick and Columbus counties who have been awarded approximately $34,000 in Bright Ideas education grants from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC).
Now in its 24th year, the electric cooperative’s education grant program funds innovative classroom projects that may otherwise not be funded. Since the program began in 1994, BEMC has contributed more than $636,000 to educators in Columbus and Brunswick counties.
“The co-op is pleased to provide this opportunity each year,” said Don Hughes, CEO and general manager of BEMC. “We recognize that funding for extra supplies is often limited and we are glad to partner with these teachers to help fund the educational needs of our students.”
This year’s projects benefitting grades K-12 include Plant Clones at Guideway Elementary and Ready to Explore STEM at Hallsboro-Artesia Elementary in Columbus County, as well as Growing Green at Lincoln Elementary and Graphic Design Software for Young Journalists at West Brunswick High School in Brunswick County. See the full list of 2018 grant recipients at www.bemc.org.
“We started Bright Ideas when a BEMC employee witnessed the need for additional educational resources in our local schools. She saw a teacher purchasing extra supplies for her classroom with her own money,” said Hughes. “Bright Ideas came from that encounter and has since been adopted statewide by all of North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives.”
Across the state, 26 electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $11.5 million to educators for innovative projects in all subjects, including math, reading, science and technology, history, and the arts.
Bright Ideas grant applications are accepted each year through late September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive process by a panel of local judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2019. For a list of the 2018 Bright Ideas applications, click HERE
BEMC is the second largest cooperative in North Carolina and serves more than 96,000 meter locations in Brunswick, Columbus, and parts of Bladen and Robeson counties. BEMC is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit corporation and has a long-standing commitment to the communities it serves, providing support for a wide variety of activities that contribute to the quality of life for all citizens.
CAPTION1: Dr. Daniel Richardson reviews students’ work on projects involving clean energy technology at Brunswick County Academy.
CAPTION2: Due to the number of grant winners and the size of our service area, BEMC chooses one recipient to surprise with their Bright Ideas grant award. Dr. Daniel Richardson of Brunswick County Academy was one of 28 educators whose project was chosen. Richardson’s project includes student-built battery powered electric vehicles.