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 $12.9 million in grant money to teachers throughout the state to sponsor more than 12,300 projects benefiting more than 2.5 million North Carolina students. Since Bright Ideas originated in 1994, Four County has contributed more than $474,760 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 2021. 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 MaKayla Killens at or call 910-259-1820 for more information.

2020-2021 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

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

Bladen County

  • Ron Warren – East Bladen High – Classroom Mosaic Mural – $2,000
  • Olivia Herring – Bladenboro Middle School – Taking Flight with Geography! – $1,800.00

Duplin County

  • Britani W. Becher  –  Chinquapin Elementary – Music To My Ears! – $1,067.85
  • Timothy V. Mateer – Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary – Eagles Bees & Blooms  – $969.00                                                               
  • Tanya Novakowski – Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary – Eagles, Dig in! –  $973.96
  • Sulnora S. Oluyemi – Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary – Addressing Social Emotional Trauma Through Visual Imagery Poetry, and Collaboration- $1,811.40
  • Victoria Newkirk – Rose-Hill Magnolia Elementary – We Can Virtually Go Anywhere – $2,000.00

Pender County

  • Amber Huckaby – Cape Fear Elementary – Social and Emotional Artistic Learning (SEAL) the Deal with Art – $664.59
  • John C. Wirszyla – Cape Fear Elementary – Recess Equipment for Classrooms to Expand Student Skills (RECESS) – $943.84
  • Bradley Reynolds – Heide Trask High School – Heide Trask Disc Golf Course – $1,772.91
  • Jessica Croson – Heide Trask High School – Evolving Engagement in Biology – $241.45
  • Elaine C. Linke – Penderlea School – STEM Exploration for Disease Protection – $217.00
  • Jared Pinkston – Pender High School – Team PHEnix Game Changers in STEAM Education – $2,000.00

Sampson County

  • Regina Uribe – Union Middle School – 21st Century Workforce Ready – $1,100.00
  • Dan Chabot – Union High – Lettuce, Turnip, the Beet LIVE – $2,000.00

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