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Teachers can apply April 1 for education grants up to $1,500

CHEC and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have pledged nearly $600,000 to the state’s teachers in Bright Ideas education grant funding for the 2015-16 school year. Grants of up to $1,500 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 Laura Ertle, Director of Public Relations & Marketing. “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.”

CHEC expects to award $3,000 in Bright Ideas grants this year to teachers on Hatteras Island. 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 September 19, but Ertle noted it could pay to apply early. Teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of Friday, Aug. 14 will be entered to win a Visa gift card.

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 $9.6 million to teachers for 9,200 projects benefiting more than 1.8 million students.

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



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