Grants Energize Learning in Local Classrooms - Carolina Country

Bright Ideas recipient Amy Erb and her Stallings Elementary school class pose with the Bright Ideas prize patrol team.

Union Power recently awarded 19 grants totaling more than $21,000 to local teachers to fund innovative classroom projects that will benefit nearly 9,000 students at schools in Union, Stanly, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, and Rowan counties.

Union Power’s Communications Specialist Ilissa Cunningham surprises Teacher Cheryl Streeter of Olde Providence Elementary School with a $1894 check for project.

Our prize patrol team made the rounds this fall surprising grant recipients with the news that their proposals were selected for funding, and the reactions from the teachers were priceless.

“Every year, Bright Ideas grants help bring creative learning to life in classrooms throughout our community,” said Carrie Stroud, vice president of communications and marketing of Union Power.

“We’re pleased to provide funding for innovative projects that support the ingenuity of our educators and engage our students in new ways.”

Union Power’s Communications Assistant Kathy Williams awards Teacher Janna Tolleson of Wingate Elementary with a Bright Ideas grant.

Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Union Power has contributed nearly $400,000 to local educators, and more than $11.5 million has been awarded by North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives to Tar Heel teachers statewide. 

Bright Ideas grant applications can be submitted each year from April through September, and grant winners are selected by a panel of judges through a competitive evaluation process. 

For more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit or

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