Central awards Bright Ideas grants to local teachers

Central Electric is awarding $15,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to ten teachers to fund engaging classroom learning projects. More than 2,700 students at local schools will participate in Bright Ideas projects funded by Central Electric this year.

“Our Bright Ideas grant recipients are making a real difference for students,” said Janet Jackson, Bright Ideas Coordinator at Central Electric. “Teachers have so many innovative ideas to engage students in learning, and we’re excited each year to support pioneering initiatives and creativity in the classroom through our Bright Ideas grant program. Central Electric is committed to the communities we serve, and we believe there is hardly a better investment than in the education of our youth and future leaders.”

Central Electric is one of 26 member-owned electric cooperatives in the state offering Bright Ideas grants to local educators. During the month of November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award teachers statewide close to $600,000 in Bright Ideas education grants.

Since 1994, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $9.6 million to Tar Heel teachers. The Bright Ideas program has reached well over 1.8 million North Carolina students and sponsored more than 9,200 projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts.

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through mid-September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2017. To find out more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit CEMCPower.com or NCBrightIdeas.com.

Central Electric, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative based in Sanford, NC, is a not-for-profit electric utility serving over 22,000 members in Chatham, Harnett, Lee, Moore and Randolph counties. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.

Central Electric’s 2016 grant recipients are listed below:

Bright Ideas Grant Winner


Grant Name


Amount Awarded

Carla Butts

Johnsonville Elementary School

Lego Robotics



Lauren deSerres

Chatham Central High School

Community Metal Sculpture Project



Denise Graner

Sandhills Theater Arts Renaissance School

Sensory Motor Integration for Intensive Needs Learners



Geoffrey Hurdt

B.T. Bullock Elementary School

B.T. Bullock presents, “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”



Dr. Susan Jinks

New Century Middle School

From Design to Reality



Samuel Lahr

Bragg Street Academy

Engaging the Future



Lowell Simon

Union Pines High School

Vikings Gaming Club



DaLea Sneed

Southern Lee High School

Cavalier Central



Patricia Steingraber

Sandhills-Farm Life Elementary School

Think Outside the Box to Break Into the Box



Jaci Watson

Southern Lee High School

Anatomy & Physiology