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 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 $13.6 million in grant money to teachers throughout the state to sponsor more than 13,000 projects benefiting more than 2.7 million North Carolina students. Since Bright Ideas originated in 1994, Four County has contributed more than $500,000 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 2022. 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 Molly Giffin at or call 910-259-1820 for more information.

2021-2022 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

The winning teachers are listed by respective county, along with the number of funds they received:

Bladen County

  • Becky Suzanne Davisson – Dublin Primary School – Chords over Covid – $1, 603.80
  • Brittney Hester – Emereau Bladen Charter School – Green is Everything – $1,001.31
  • Bruce Simonson – East Bladen High school – East Bladen HS Automated Greenhouse Irrigation System – $1,818.00
  • Ron Warren – East Bladen High – Homage to Jasper Johns – $2,000

Duplin County

  • Misty Ross – Chinquapin Elementary – Secret Stories Superheros – $1,047.50
  • Britani W. Becher  –  Chinquapin Elementary –Safe Spaces, Conquering ACE’s – $1,855.31
  • Tanya Novakowski – Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary – Farming with Worms –  $1,845.34
  • Victoria Newkirk – RoseHill- Magnolia Elementary – Eagle News – $1,979.00

Pender County

  • Dr. Chris Wirszyla – Cape Fear Elementary – Building a Better SELF (Self Esteem and Lifetime Fitness) – $986.34
  • Cindy Robinson – Malpass Corner Elementary – A WANDerful Experience – $406.10
  • Laura Black – Rocky Point Elementary School – Percussion with a Purpose – $1,884.98
  • Aariene Hansley – West Pender Middle – Warrior’s Apparel – $1,812.00
  • Teresa Soles – West Pender Middle – Feeding Our Community: Seed to Supper – $1,979.75
  • Michael McHolland – Heide Trask High School – 13 Colonies Card Game – SPOONS – $99.90
  • Matt Davis – Pender High School – Sports Casting and Immersive Journalism Experience – $1,989.00
  • Jared Pinkston – Pender High School – Team PHEnix Robotics FIRST Forward: Full Speed Ahead Season– $2,000.00

Sampson County

  • Andrea Hunter – Union Intermediate School – I’ve Got a Feeling: Exploring Social Emotional Learning with Print – $2,000.00

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