Bright Ideas grants now available for teachers

Apr 02, 2014

Haywood Electric Membership Corporation and North Carolina's electric cooperatives have pledged nearly $600,000 to the state's teachers in Bright Ideas education grant funding for the 2014-15 school year. This year marks the 20th year the co-ops have offered Bright Ideas grants, and applications are currently available. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded directly to educators for creative, hands-on classroom projects that would not otherwise be funded. Teachers can learn more and apply online at

"For 20 years, Bright Ideas grants have helped electric cooperatives make a difference for tomorrow's leaders by giving educators new resources to help students succeed," said Ken Thomas, manager of marketing and communications at Haywood EMC. "We believe there is no better investment than in the education of our youth, and through Bright Ideas grants, teachers can bring their imaginative ideas to reality."

Haywood EMC expects to award approximately $10,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to teachers in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Transylvania, Oconee and Rabun counties. The grants are available to K-12 teachers for innovative projects in any subject. Teachers can apply individually or as a team and are encouraged to apply online.

Applications will be accepted April 1 through Sept. 19 but it could pay to apply early. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of Friday, Aug. 15, will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.
To apply, teachers must include a budget, explain the creative elements, implementation, goals and evaluation of the project, and have approval from their school principal. Applications will be judged in a competitive evaluation process, and judges will be on the lookout for projects that feature innovation and creativity. The application, grant-writing tips and examples of past winning proposals can be found at