Local Teacher Receive Grants for Their Bright Ideas

Four County EMC is honoring teachers and celebrating innovation in education this month by awarding Bright Ideas grants to educators in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, and Sampson counties.

The education grants will fund engaging classroom learning projects that will benefit more than 3,000 students who will participate in the Bright Ideas projects funded by Four County.

“The Bright Ideas grant winners have truly persevered this school year,” says MaKayla Killens, Communications Specialist at Four County EMC. “The projects submitted this year have brought out the creative skills in educators, as they’ve raised the standard in educating students both through virtual and physical classrooms.”

Typically, these grants bring creative projects to life inside classrooms. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Four County EMC has been flexible with the types of projects awarded to ensure that all students can benefit, whether in the classroom or in learning remotely. Grants are awarded for projects in all subject areas, such as music, art, history, reading, science, math, and more.

In total, Four County EMC awarded $26,308.33 to 17 teachers in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, and Sampson counties this year. Four County EMC has contributed more than $500,000 to local teachers through the Bright Ideas program since the program began in 1994. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively awarded more than $13.6 million to more than 13,000 projects benefitting more than 2.7 million students in our state over the past 28 years.

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 on the NC Bright Ideas website.

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

Follow Four County EMC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see how programs, such as Bright Ideas, are impacting local students and communities. To learn more about Bright Ideas grants, visit ncbrightideas.com, and follow @NCBrightIdeas on Facebook and Twitter.

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

2021 to 2022 Bright Ideas Grant Winners

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