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Bright Ideas Grant Recipients Honored at Daniel Boone Inn by the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp

By Madison V. Fisler

Nov. 7, 2012. Six educators from Watauga and Avery County schools and their teams were awarded Bright Ideas grants during a luncheon today at the Daniel Boone Inn by the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp (BREMCO). 

From left to right: Jamie Dale, Lindsey Gough, Will Derrick, Laura King, Calah Fortune, Karen Dallas
Photo By: Madison V. Fisler

Bright Ideas grants are given as part of BREMCO’s commitment to local education, and is sponsored in conjunction with 26 other member electric cooperatives. In total, more than $6,500 in grants was awarded between the six teams. 

There were 83 applicants this year from Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Allegany, Wilkes and Avery Counties. Watauga and Avery Counties accounted for 23 of those applications. 

Between noon and 1:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp honored six grant recipients from Watauga and Avery Counties and recognized them for going above and beyond to help their students learn and benefit from their education. 

Calah Fortune of Avery County High School was awarded $1,000 to create a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Green Art Lab.

“This lab will help our students to learn about sustainable art-making as well as renewable energy, recycling and waste management,” said Fortune.

This grant will benefit about 600 students in art, technology, engineering, and science. 

Laura King and Joelle Poore of Cranberry Middle School were awarded $922.90 for their “Reading…In Math Class?” project. This project will allow students to have access to eBooks with math concepts to ease them into difficult mathematics concepts.

“We would like the students to create their own book at the end,” said King. 

Karen Dallas and Teresa Greene of Hardin Park Elementary received $632.96 for their “Links to Literacy” project which will help to purchase materials to put toward literary programs in the kindergarten classroom. This program will encourage independent reading, reading to each other, and writing practice. This program will benefit 23 students in reading and writing. 

Lindsey Gough of Cove Creek Elementary
Photo By Madison V. Fisler

Lindsey Gough of Cove Creek Elementary was awarded $1,293.30 for her “ChildHelp Speak Up Be Safe” project. The funds will be used to purchase a curriculum that will help students from first through sixth grade and their parents prevent abuse and neglect.

“It is our duty, our job and our passion to protect these kids,” said Gough. “We need to teach everyone what to look for and develop skills to combat abuse.”

This program will benefit 700 students in socio-emotional development. 

Will Derrick of Valle Crucis Elementary received $1,500 to fund a robotics program in which students will build robots with the assistance of Appalachian State University, and compete in a yearly competition at Appalachian State next year. This grant will benefit 40 students in technology and problem solving.

Jamie Dale of Parkway Elementary
Photo By: Madison V. Fisler

“We want to continue our program, and hopefully compete against college students later,” said Derrick.

Jamie Dale of Parkway Elementary School was awarded $1,200.00 for the “It’s Alive!” project which will help students learn about science through hands on experience. The project will benefit 54 students in science and technology. 

Other recipients that were not present include:

Caldwell County

  • Tonya Amelia, along with her teammates Tammy Knight, Laura Beck and Anna Crooke of Hudson Middle School was awarded $1,058.85 for her “Body Detectives” project. This project will benefit 271 students in science.
  • Amy Bradley and Jennifer Biddix of Patterson Science Center were awarded $1,500 for their project “AgroBacteria: What Does Biotechnology and Agriculture Have in Common?” Their project will benefit 100 students in life science.
  • Elizabeth S. Fox, Michael Sides and John Davis were awarded $1,387.10 for their “Masters of Gravity” program which will benefit 25 students in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Denise Allen, Josh Cooper and Sharon Green received $1,504.46 for their “CECHS Biogfuels Research” project which will benefit 225 students in biology and chemistry.

Alleghany County

  • Susanne Murphy of Piney Creek Elementary received $500 for her “Eating the Alphabet!” project which will benefit 15 students in literacy, health and nutrition.
  • Melissa Fitzgerald, Karena Caudill, Dawn Atwood, Sherry Maines, Jennifer Tracy and Cheryl Powell of Glade Creek Elementary received $1,500 to fund their “Just Down the Hall” project which will help more than 270 students in English and language arts.
  • Cecelia Hampton, Kristin Stiff, Kayla Lyall and Susie Miller of Sparta Elementary received $1,124.00 to fund their “Touching Terminology” project which will aid 265 students in science, reading and art. 

Ashe County

  • Katie Amanda Jones Hodge, Ashley Bowers, Jerri Eller and Allison Shoemake of Blue Ridge Elementary received $948.33 for their “Multiplication Marvels” program which will benefit more than 60 students in math.
  • Jennifer Treva, Anita Ferguson and Mary Rogers of Ashe County High were awarded $628.49 for their “Green Thumb” project which will benefit 28 students in math, science, technology and horticulture.
  • Barbara Heufel, Luci Jackson, Lori Hensley and Debbie Newton of Mountain View Elementary were awarded $909.43 for their “Let’s LEGO Our Imagination” program which will benefit 74 students in language arts, writing, technology and science. 
  • Teresa Goodman, Sarah Furches, Jessica Baker, Connie Howell and Cindy Parsons of Mountain View Elementary received $750.00 for their “Let’s Get Fit and Have Some Fun!” program which will benefit 95 students in fitness and health.