Roanoke Electric awards grants to teachers for ‘Bright Ideas’

Roanoke Electric Cooperative is awarding $8,000 in Bright Ideas education grants to five teachers to fund engaging classroom learning projects. More than 600 students at schools in Hertford, Gates, and Northampton counties will participate in Bright Ideas projects funded by Roanoke this year.

“Our Bright Ideas grant winners are making a real difference for students,” said Marshall Cherry, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Roanoke. “Teachers have so many innovative ideas to engage students in learning, and we’re excited each year to support pioneering initiatives and creativity in the classroom through our Bright Ideas grant program.”

Winning projects include “exergaming” to inspire physical activity, using Rasberry Pi Computer kits to develop computer engineering and coding skills, and collecting various parameters of water quality from the Chowan River to assess the specific threats to our water-ways.

Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Roanoke has contributed more than $60,000 to local teachers.

“Roanoke Electric Cooperative is committed to the communities we serve, and we believe there is hardly a better investment than in the education of our youth and future leaders,” Cherry said.

Roanoke is one of 26 member-owned electric cooperatives in the state offering Bright Ideas grants to local educators. During the month of November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award teachers statewide close to $600,000 in Bright Ideas education grants.

Since 1994, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $9.6 million to Tar Heel teachers. The Bright Ideas program has reached well over 1.8 million North Carolina students and sponsored more than 9,200 projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts.

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through mid-September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2016.

To find out more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit

Roanoke’s 2015 grant winners are listed below:

Bright Ideas Grant Winner


Grant Name


Amount Awarded

Adrienne Beasley

T S Cooper Elementary

“Get your Groove On!”



Gregory L. Watford

Hertford County High School

“I Spy Rasberry Pi: Building Computers and Creating Digital Stories from Scratch”




Megan Lewis

Gaston Elementary

“Read for Fun, Read for Life”



Susan Parker

Buckland Elementary

“Ag a'la Cart”



Teri Campbell

Gates County high School

“Wet, Wild, Wonderful Water: Fostering Citizen Scientists through Water Monitoring of the Chowan River”



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