Bright Ideas, Big Impacts! - Carolina Country
Plus 2017–2018 Bright Ideas Winners January 2018
Plus 2017–2018 Bright Ideas Winners
January 2018

Throughout November and December, Union Power Cooperative awarded close to $22,000 to 19 lucky educators in our service territory. These grants will impact 6,700 students over the next year.

On November 28, the Union Power prize patrol, assisted by Carolina Panthers center Tyler Larsen, running back Kaelin Clay and team mascot Sir Purr, presented checks to two teachers at Wingate Elementary during a surprise assembly.

Teacher Teresa Higgins won a Bright Ideas grant for her “Light Up the Mind’s Eye!” project. Her project will impact the entire school, teaching students to rely on their brains to create a better understanding of the world around them. Teacher Joya Wortham won for her Bright Ideas grant, “My Sister’s Keeper”. This award will impact 3rd through 5th grade girls with mentoring services designed to teach them to reach for their dreams.

Bright Ideas Union 2017

After the checks were presented to the teachers, Larsen and Clay spoke to students about working hard in school and answered questions from the students. The surprise event was part of a two-month long celebration of surprising teachers with awards to celebrate their innovation and creativity in the classroom.

The Co-op has funded more than $361,000 Bright Ideas grants since the program began in 1994. More than $10.9 million has been awarded by North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives to teachers statewide. The Bright Ideas program has reached well over 2.1 million students from across the state and has sponsored more than 10,400 projects in all subjects. Learn more about Union Power Cooperative and Bright Ideas Education Grants.

2017–2018 Bright Ideas Winners
School Project Name Grant Teacher
Central Elementary Muddy Sneakers, the Joy of Learning Outside $1,500 Amber Flamer
Concord Middle Serving Success $1,757 Shanna Meehan
Marvin Ridge High Souper Students Helping the Hungry $1,797 Chris Roncone & Stacy Corday
Oakboro Choice S.T.E.M. School—K-8 Seeds of Sustainability at Oakboro Choice STEM $1,000 Hannah Griffin
Patriots STEM Elementary NASCAR Hall of Fame $558 Heather Stowe
Piedmont High Glass Transformations $2,000 Tiffany Medford and Tracy Price
Poplin Elementary Thankful Thursdays $500 Marianne Conti, Sarah Mintz, Kelly Hagerman, Amanda Ball & Tracy Vargas
Ridge Road Middle Ridge Road Greenhouse Project $1,189 Eddie Hubert, Jaclyn Cannon, Kenyanti Brooks & Richie Egnor
Rockwell Elementary Operation Deployment $502 Breanne Dietz
Rocky River Elementary Observing the Unseen $1,000 Adam Haas
Sun Valley High Solar Electric Pet Shelter $1,569 Eddie Mull
Union Academy The Trail of Native Americans on School Grounds $1,750 Susan Helms, Stacy Ferguson and Morgan Miles
Union County Virtual Seeing With My Own Eyes—Virtually Everywhere! $484 Andrew Starnes & Alicia Swackhamer
W. M. Irvin Elementary Adventures of Irv and Ivy $1,999 Emily Schmidt & Sarah McAlister
West Stanly Middle West Stanly Middle—Book Ninjas $500 Michelle Meehan
Wingate Elementary My Sister’s Keeper $508 Joya Wortham
Wingate Elementary Light up the Mind’s Eye! $135 Teresa Higgins
Winkler Middle Winkler Kids Getting Active & Saving Lives $1,000 Michael Petersen & Katherine Clymer
Wolfe School Inclusive Tablet Time $1,222 Susan Samsel & Cheryl Nebel

Bright Ideas grant applications can be submitted each year, and winning proposals are selected by a panel of judges through a competitive evaluation process. Visit Union Power Cooperative's website to learn more about Bright Ideas.

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