Bright Ideas


Local educators can now apply for a Bright Ideas grant from Rutherford EMC. The grants, offered annually to teachers to bring creative classroom learning projects to life, support innovative projects that energize classroom learning and enhance student success. Educators can learn more and apply online at

“As students and teachers face the challenges of the past year, we’re pleased to continue our long history of supporting them with grants that fulfill needs in local classrooms,” said Dirk Burleson, General Manager of Rutherford EMC. “As a community-focused organization, we are committed to building a brighter future for our students and our region, and we encourage all educators with ‘bright ideas’ to submit an application.”

Rutherford EMC expects to award over $15,000 in Bright Ideas grants again this year to qualifying K-12 teachers across its 10-county service area. Grants of up to $1,000 are available in all subject areas, and teachers can apply individually or as a team.

Applications will be accepted on-line through Sept. 15, 2021. Teachers who submit their application by the early bird deadline of Aug. 15 will be entered to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

To apply, teachers must include a budget; explain the implementation, goals, creative elements and evaluation of the project; and have approval from their school’s principal. Applications will be judged through a competitive evaluation process, with judges looking for projects that feature inventive and creative approaches to learning. Grant-writing tips can be found at

For more than 25 years, Rutherford EMC has joined North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives in offering Bright Ideas grants to teachers. Since the program began in 1994, educators statewide have received more than $13.6 million in Bright Ideas grant funding, and more than 2.7 million North Carolina students have participated in close to 13,000 Bright Ideas-funded projects.

For more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit the website above or contact Chad Bailey at 1-800-521-0920 or 828-245-1621 Ext.450 or by email at