Bright Ideas

Educators:  Apply now to fund your Bright Ideas

veryone knows April showers bring May flowers, but did you know April brings new opporunities for local educators to fund classroom projects?  Here at Rutherford EMC April marks the offical kickoff of the Brdight Ideas education grant program.  The Bright Ideas grant program is offered by all 26 of North Carolina's electric cooperatives and supports educators in need of funding to implement creative, hands-on learning projects.

Since 1994, North Carolina’s electric co-ops have awarded more than $10.9 million in Bright Ideas grants to teachers statewide. More than 10,400 classroom projects benefiting well over 2.1 million North Carolina students have been made possible because of these grants.

Rutherford EMC is now accepting applications for Bright Ideas education grants for the 2017-18 school year. Educators in K-12 classrooms with creative ideas for hands-on learning projects are encouraged to apply for a grant up to $1,000. Last year, Rutherford EMC awarded 21 teachers more than $17,600 for 21 projects to benefit more than 4,700 students in Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties.

Grant applications will be accepted April 3rd through September 18. However, it could pay to apply early: All teachers who submit their applications by the early bird deadline of August 15 will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Teachers  at qualifying schools can apply individually or as at team, and grants are available for all subjects. To apply, or for more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit, or contact Chad Bailey at 1-800-521-0920 or 828-245-1621 (extension 450) or by e-mail at