Bladen teachers win Bright Ideas grants

Staff report

November 25, 2013

BURGAW – Five teachers from the Bladen County School District were among the 150 educators honored Friday, Nov. 15, at the 11th annual Touchstone Energy Bright Ideas education grant awards luncheon at the Dail Club at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

Molly Barker, a leader on girl’s education and development, shared inspiring stories with grant winners about her experiences working with children in her keynote address at the event. Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run International, which began in Charlotte in 1996 and now serves over 150,000 girls and women each year in 190 cities across North America.

Four County Electric Membership Corporation presented five Bright Ideas grants to educators in Bladen County — Teresa Wiles from Clarkton School of Discovery, Barbara Tatum from Clarkton School of Discovery, Terri Raynor from Elizabethtown Middle School, Melanie Wohlford from Elizabethtown Primary and Elizabeth Alford from Plain View Primary.

Wiles “CyberTravel Cafe” will receive a grant of $840; Tatum’s “Math Weavers” will receive $437; Raynor’s “Cougars Getting Fit” will receive $1,099; Wohlford’s “Where’s That Music Coming From?” will receive $1,500; and Alford’s “A World of Music in Our Small Town” will receive $1,416.

In total, Four County EMC awarded Bright Ideas grants worth nearly $20,000 to educators for 21 projects in Bladen and surrounding counties this year.

The luncheon was part of a month-long Bright Ideas celebration. During November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award close to $600,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to deserving teachers across the state. Since the program began in 1994, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have provided more than $8.5 million for 8,300 projects in subjects ranging from mathematics to the arts. More than 1.5 million students statewide have participated in visionary classroom projects funded by Bright Ideas grants.

The Bright Ideas education grant program is an example of North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives’ commitment to community. The electric cooperatives serve more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.

Four County EMC serves more than 32,000 members in Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow counties.