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Caldwell County Teachers Awarded Bright Ideas Grants
(Back row, l to r): Tasha Rountree, Director of Community Relations, Blue Ridge Energy; and representing the Blue Ridge EnergyBoard of Directors, David Eggers, Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Melton, and President Jeff Joines.
Exciting, hands-on learning projects are coming to five local Caldwell classrooms thanks to $7,926 in Bright Ideas grants awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to local educators during a special luncheon celebration honoring winning teachers and their schools.
Bright Ideas is an academic grants program sponsored annually by Blue Ridge Energy. Bright Ideas grants help further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that go beyond available school funding.
To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $619,000 in Bright Ideas classroom grants impacting over 114,000 local students and teachers. This year, the cooperative is funding winning grants totaling $25,578 to 21 classrooms in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, and Avery counties.
Caldwell County grant-winning teachers are:
Kami Sanderlin of Valmead Elementary for “Counting Stars.” This $1,895 grant will purchase a small planetarium. The students will be able to view a night sky simulation and have a whole experience of stargazing, which aligns with the classroom curriculum.
Janice Harris of Davenport Elementary for “Arts Funding.” The grant for $1,998 will introduce students to handmade pottery and the new opportunity to create original art using air-dry clay.
Kim Harding of Dudley Shoals Elementary for “On a Quest for Knowledge.” This $1,860 grant will purchase Oculus Quest goggles to allow students to build background experiences in a virtual reality setting.
Abby Hudgens of Granite Falls Elementary for “Digital Listening Library.” The grant for $675 will help to create an engaging and interactive learning experience for English as a Second Language (ESL) students to enhance listening skills and promote reading comprehension.
David Brotherton of Hudson Middle for “A New (Virtual) Reality.” This $1,498 grant will update the software for virtual reality headsets. Students can immerse themselves in virtual job shadowing, virtual dissections, and virtual explorations of body systems and learn about healthcare issues in other parts of the world.
“Blue Ridge Energy supports our schools and teachers to build brighter futures for our communities,” said Tasha Rountree, director of community relations for Blue Ridge Energy. “I’m proud that Blue Ridge can help by funding creative classroom projects that bring innovative learning experiences to our students.”
Blue Ridge Energy is part of several North Carolina electric cooperatives providing Bright Ideas grants. Together, they have provided more than $15 million for over 14,200 classroom projects impacting over 2.5 million students in North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Energy is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. To learn more about the Bright Ideas grants program, visit www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com or contact your local Blue Ridge Energy office.