REMC Awards $14,000 for Bright Ideas Education Grants

Local Teachers Honored for Innovative Ideas in Education

Friday, January 6, 2023

Photos of winning teachers can be found at this link as well as REMC's social media channels.

Randolph Electric Membership Corporation recently honored educators by awarding $14,000 in Bright Ideas grants to twelve local teachers. More than 2,100 students at schools in Randolph, Moore, Montgomery and Chatham Counties will benefit from these grants. The grant funds will support classroom projects in the subjects of science, art, physical education and more.

Randolph EMC is committed to our core value of caring for our communities. One way we accomplish that is by investing in education,” said Communications and Public Affairs Manager Nicole Arnold. “We commend these educators for striving to make learning fun and engaging for students.”

Thank you for this amazing opportunity to equip our students with life-long skills,” said Lance Barber, physical education instructor and grant recipient from West End Elementary in Moore County. “Randolph Electric is definitely making a difference in schools by providing opportunities that typically would not be present.”

Randolph EMC is one of 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina offering Bright Ideas grants to local teachers. Grants are awarded for projects in all subject areas, such as music, art, history, reading, science, math and more. Bright Ideas grants support local teachers with creative ideas to increase innovation, expand learning opportunities and enhance student success in K-12 classrooms.

Since 1994, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $14 million in Bright Ideas funding for over 13,500 projects supporting teachers and benefitting more than 2.5 million students. Over the past 28 years, Randolph Electric has invested just under $300,000 in grants within its five-county service area.

The Bright Ideas grant program is part of REMC’s ongoing commitment to building a brighter future through support of education. REMC accepts Bright Ideas grant applications each year from April through mid-September. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2023.

Below are a list of all winners.

Randolph County

  • William Villano of Uwharrie Ridge 6-12 in Trinity won $1,000 for his project, Escape Room Kits. Students in middle and high school English classes will review concepts before exams by playing an immersive, narrative game in which they must solve puzzles to escape form a room. The urgency of the game and the team collaboration required to solve the puzzle will increase student engagement and improve recall for students when taking final exams.
  • Laura Leonard of Wheatmore High School in Trinity won $1,345 for her project, Flexible Seating for Special Education Students. The alternative seating will increase blood flow and core strength for students for whom normal seating is painful or difficult. The goal of the seating is to provide a learning environment in which students can concentrate more on their lessons without hindrances.
  • Julia Cox of Charles McCrary Elementary in Asheboro won $685 for her project, Tchoukball. Students in third, fourth and fifth grade will benefit from learning this sport, which enforces hand-eye coordination and teamwork in a safe setting. Tchoukball, while not widely played in North Carolina schools, is a relatively new sport developed to reduce injuries for players engaged in competitive play.
  • Tyler Bidwell of Guy B. Teachey Elementary in Asheboro won $1,480 for his project, Spectrum Sensory Room. Children with autism spectrum disorder or behavioral disorders will have a safe place to self soothe or engage in occupational therapy. The goal of the room is to decrease negative behaviors, address sensory needs and avoid the disruption of learning by other students.
  • Lori Hoover of Uwharrie Charter Academy in Asheboro won $1,000 for her project, Virtual Health Science. The technology purchased with the grant will allow high school students to further their understanding of human anatomy in preparation for college science courses. Additionally, the equipment will facilitate hands-on CPR training.

Moore County

  • Lance Barber of West End Elementary in West End won $600 for his project, Stop, Drop and Roll: Fire Safety Training.  Physical education students from kindergarten through fifth grade will learn the proper technique to reduce injuries and avoid tragedy in the case of a fire emergency. Students will retain the life-saving knowledge from their experience of physically dropping and rolling on large, padded, specialized tumbling mats meant to cushion their fall.
  • Wayne Manning of Westmoore Elementary in Seagrove won $1,510 for his project, STEAM Animation and Ceramics. While many of the students who attend this school on Pottery Highway, NC 705, are related to a local potter, very few students have ever had any hands-on experience with making pottery. Mr. Manning’s students will learn engineering processes as well as ratios and fractions while firing clay and making their own pottery.
  • Christina Speiser of Moore County Connect! Virtual Academy won $645 for her project, Virtually Awesome. High school students will use new apps to create their own books, magazines and newspapers and share these among each other. The process of assembling an online portfolio will prepare the students for scholarships and college applications as well as improve their literary knowledge and communication skills.

Montgomery County

  • Destiny Garner of Page Street Elementary in Troy won $1,990 to equip an Autism Sensory Room. Exceptional children in third through fifth grade will use the room daily to re-group and re-center when they become overstimulated, agitated and overwhelmed. The goal of the safe space is to help these students experience more successful school days.
  • Kymberlie Hare of Montgomery County Early College in Troy won $395 for her project, Popcorn Box. High school math students will predict the volume of a box by building a polynomial equation within certain constraints. After filling the box with popcorn, the class will discuss how companies maximize revenue through product packaging, which relies on underlying math concepts.
  • Stephanie Harvell of Montgomery Central High School in Troy won $1,400 for her project, Timberwolf Green House. Special education students will learn how to budget, shop, plan and care for a garden they create in their greenhouse. Class discussion will focus on healthy meal choices, proper upkeep of the facility and horticultural skills that they can use in real life outside of school.

Chatham County

  • Eric Patin of Chatham Central High School in Bear Creek won $1,950 to purchase subscriptions to an online, interactive learning simulation platform. High school students in all science classes will benefit from the platform which allows exploration and experimentation not possible to reproduce in a traditional laboratory setting. Students will employ critical thinking and analysis skills through their interactions.

If you know an exceptional educator who may benefit from this program, please encourage him or her to apply for the 2023 grant cycle. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2023. Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through mid-September, and winners are announced between Thanksgiving and the end of first semester.

More information about the Bright Ideas grant program can be found on RandolphEMC.com or by contacting Nicole Arnold at Nicole.Arnold@RandolphEMC.com