Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to local classrooms thanks to $4,260 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation to local educators. Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric in conjunction with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation and its 26 other member electric cooperatives. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.
Watauga County grant winners are:
Tammy Gragg of Parkway Elementary School for “Let’s Get Social” The grant of $486 will help Parkway teachers increase social awareness and social skills among all students in order to improve communications and build relationships at school and in the student’s daily lives.
Emily Green of Green Valley Elementary School for “Wrestling Robots to Fuel Engagement” This $1,080 grant will be used to help improve student engagement, creativity, teamwork skills and technological skills through robotics.
Barbara Myers of Hardin Park Elementary School for “Make a Maker Space” This $1,210 grant will be used to develop a Maker Space—a community center with tools where students gather to share tools, materials, and expertise to build create and explore together as part of the STEAM initiative.
Jane R. Brown of Valle Crucis Elementary School for “Building Community with a One-Book One-School Project” This $1,484 grant will be used to fund an all-school community read program that will build a stronger connection among students, parents, teachers and the community.
From Avery County, the winner was:
Kim Seymour-Davis of Banner Elk Elementary School for “BES Maker Space” This $1,126 grant will be used for materials to create a Maker Space center for students to come and work on engineering activities as part of the STEAM initiative in Avery County.
Blue Ridge Electric received 88 applications for the 2015-2016 school year from schools in its service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery counties. Funds totaling $21,160 were awarded to 20 classrooms to benefit hundreds of local students. To date, Blue Ridge Electric has awarded more than $406,000 in Bright Ideas classroom grants that has impacted thousands of local students and teachers. Blue Ridge Electric is part of several North Carolina electric cooperatives providing Bright Ideas grants. Together, they have provided more than $9.6 million for classroom projects impacting over 1.8 million students in North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Electric is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. To learn more about the Bright Ideas grants program, visit Blue Ridge Electric’s web site at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com or contact your local Blue Ridge Electric office.