Bright Ideas Educational Grants

Four County is always looking for ways to help improve the communities we serve. That’s why we participate in NC Bright Ideas. This grant-awarding program is a unique opportunity for local teachers to receive up to $2,000 for innovative teaching ideas.

Co-sponsored by the N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives, the grants are available to teachers in area schools for projects that traditional school money does not cover. All of North Carolina’s 26 electric Cooperatives participate in the program and to date, the Bright Ideas grant program has awarded more than $12.2 million in grant money to teachers throughout the state to sponsor more than 11,699 projects benefiting more than 2.3 million North Carolina students.Since Bright Ideas originated in 1994, Four County has contributed more than $455,360 to local teachers.

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 2020. North Carolina K-12 teachers may learn more at

Four County EMC serves over 32,500 members in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow counties.

Like Four County’s Facebook page to receive local updates. Also, you can follow “Bright Ideas Education Grant Program”on Facebook to receive updated news about the program.

If you have questions about Four County EMC’s Bright Ideas Grant program contact Gay Johnson at or call 910-259-1834 for more information.

2019-2020 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

The winning teachers are listed by respective county, along with the amount of funds they received (listed in order of teacher who submitted grant, school, project name and the amount awarded):

Bladen County

  • Ron Warren – East Bladen High – Giant Moving Hexaflex – $2,000
  • Melanie V. Wohlford – Elizabethtown Primary – The Colors of Music – $1,053
  • Tamara Smith – Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy – P.R.B.L.A. Choir – $500
  • Becky Davisson – Dublin Elementary – Clappin’ and Rappin’ while Learnin’ is Happenin’ – $1,310

Duplin County

  • Britani Becher – Chinquapin Elementary – Buddy Benches – $1,000
  • Eric Collins – Wallace-Rose Hill High School – Bulldog Eyes in the Sky – $200
  • Hope English – Wallace Elementary – Stretch and Go!  – $1,785
  • Sulnora S. Oluyemi – Wallace Elementary – Art is: STEAMA, Language Arts, Social Studies, ESL, Health/PE – $1,900

Pender County

  • Elizabeth Edwards – Heide Trask High – Interior Design/Fashion Merchandising – $1,966
  • Jared Pinkston – Pender High – Team PHEnix Infinite Recharge Robotics – $1,000
  • Tim McAuliffe – Pender High – Balancing the Scales in Innovation in Biology – $486
  • Thomas Herren – Pender High – Stem Cycle Starter for Electric Vehicle at Pender – $536.50
  • Jessica Croson – Heide Trask HS – As the World Turns: Using Station Rotations to Investigate Cells – $235.50
  • Margo Melton – Pender Early College High – Hydroponic and Aquaponic Lab – $1,642

Sampson County

  • Nikki Wood – Union Middle – Creating a Love for Literature – $293
  • Dan Chabot – Union High – Signatures in Metal – $2,000
  • Nancie Jaynia Kay Betts Hood – Union Middle – Bounce and Build – $800
  • Caren Long – Union Intermediate School – WWE: Wright Brothers, Wind Tunnels, and Experimentation! – $168
  • Jennifer King – Union Intermediate School Let’s “Make” it a “Bit” More – $985

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