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Teachers can apply now for Bright Ideas Education Grants

April 1st, 2016

Four County EMC and the other 25 co-ops in the network of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have collectively pledged nearly $600,000 to the state’s teachers in Bright Ideas education grant funding for the 2016-17 school year.

 Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded directly to local educators for creative, hands-on classroom projects that would not otherwise be funded by traditional school budgets.  

The grant application opens April 1 and can be found online at along with more information about the program.

“For more than 20 years, Bright Ideas grants have helped teachers bring innovative ideas to life and get students excited about learning,” said Gay Johnson, Director of Corporate Communications. “North Carolina’s electric cooperatives believe there is no better investment than in the education of our youth, which is why we continue to support educators with our Bright Ideas grant program each year.”

Four County EMC expects to award $19,860 in Bright Ideas grants this year to teachers in Bladen, Duplin, Pender and Sampson 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 apply online.

Applications will be accepted April 1 through Sept. 23, but it could pay to apply early. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of August 15 will be entered to win one of five Visa gift cards.

To apply, teachers must include a budget, explain the implementation, goals, creative elements and evaluation of the project, and have approval from the 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 and grant-writing tips can be found at

Since 1994, the co-ops have worked to enhance education by engaging students in meaningful learning projects that encourage creative approaches. In the past two decades, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have contributed more than $10.2 million to teachers for 9,800 projects benefiting more than 2 million students.

“Teachers have amazing, creative ideas for educating students but often do not have the resources to make those ideas come to life,” Johnson said. “The enthusiasm and dedication of educators never ceases to amaze us, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

Four County Electric Membership Corporation is a Touchstone Energy cooperative that serves approximately 32,500 members in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow counties. More information about the Bright Ideas program is available at

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Four County Electric Membership Corp. 1822 NC Hwy. 53 West, Burgaw, NC 28425 (T) 888.368.7289 (F) 910.259.1860
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