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Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Electric PDF Print
Written by Renee R. Whitener   
Thursday, 10 November 2011 06:40

As part of its commitment to local education, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation presented Bright Ideas grants totaling more than $5,300 to six educator teams during a luncheon ceremony honoring the teachers at the Watauga district office. Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric in conjunction with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation and its 26 other member electric cooperatives. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.
Watauga County grant winners are:
Karen Dallas and Melissa Finger, of Parkway Elementary School, for “Outdoor Learning Environment.”  This $469 grant will allow students to use tools to observe, record and analyze concepts in a natural environment as they study creatures, sounds produced by movement and life cycle activities in an outdoor classroom.
Robin Ebaugh, of Parkway Elementary School for “Your Mother is Right: Clean Your Plate; Children Are Starving Around the World.” Students will use this $1,100 grant to experience, analyze and compare our culture with that of African countries.  They will learn the necessity of citizenship and compassion and how they can contribute locally and globally.
Diane Wilcox, of Valle Crucis Elementary School, for “Let’s Kindle the Reading Flame?”  This $1,500 grant will be used to purchase Kindles and books to load onto the Kindles to spark reading interest at different levels amongst third graders.
Kimberly Woodrow, Bryan Wood, and Woody McKay, of Watauga High School for “Document Cameras for Biology.”  This $500 grant will be used to purchase document cameras that allow the teacher’s demonstrations, such as dissection, to be viewed by the entire class simultaneously.  This will be a great aid for increased class sizes and high student-teacher ratios.
Lisa Combs, of Watauga High School for “Tinkling the Ivories.” This $550 grant will replace broken piano pedals and allow more students to participate in piano class each year.
Avery County grant winner was:
Laura King, of Cranberry Middle School for “Real, Relevant Mathematical Modeling.”  Students will use this $1,275 grant to simulate capture and recapture of wild game as well as explore exponential growth and decay of population, germs, etc. as they tie hunting, fishing, and farming to mathematics through the use of number and color cubes.
Blue Ridge Electric received 82 applications for the 2011-2012 school year from schools in its service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery Counties.  Funds totaling $19,018 were awarded to 26 classrooms in 17 different schools which benefited many area students and communities.  Blue Ridge Electric is celebrating its 18th year of offering Bright Ideas grants as part of its support and commitment to education. To date, Blue Ridge Electric has awarded more than $324,000 and provided direct funding assistance that has had an impact on over 90,000 local students.  Blue Ridge Electric is part of several North Carolina electric cooperatives providing Bright Ideas grants.  Together, they have provided more than $7.1 million for 6,500 classroom projects for North Carolina teachers and students.

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