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Calah Fortune, right, and Joelle Poore receive grants for innovative classroom projects from
BREMCO. Fortune will create a Green Art Lab, while Poore will partner with math teacher
Laura King to integrate reading and math in the classroom.
Photo by Renee Whitener

Originally published: 2012-11-19 20:26:33
Last modified: 2012-11-19 20:26:33

Teachers bring grants into Avery schools

Renee Whitener

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation presented Bright Ideas grants totaling more than $6,500 to six educator teams on Tuesday, Nov. 6, two of which were from Avery County Schools, during a luncheon ceremony honoring the teachers at Dan’l Boone Inn.

One of the two awards went to the team of Laura King and Joelle Poore of Cranberry Middle School for “Reading … In Math Class?” This $922 grant will allow students to have access to digital mathematical “bridge” books on topics such as the pythagoream theorem, functions, 3D figures, etc. These books “hook” students into difficult mathematical concepts using relevant, rich stories.

The second grant awarded in Avery County went to Calah Fortune of Avery High School. Fortune received a $1,000 grant to create a “STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Green Art Lab.” This lab will allow students to practice sustainable art-making while learning about renewable energy, recycling, consumption and waste management.

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.

Blue Ridge Electric received 83 applications for the 2012-13 school year from schools in its service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and Avery counties. Funds totaling $19,296 were awarded to 19 schools. Blue Ridge Electric is celebrating its 19th year of offering Bright Ideas grants as part of its support for education. To date, Blue Ridge Electric has awarded more than $343,000 and provided direct funding assistance that has had an impact on more than 93,000 local students. Since the inception of Bright Ideas grants, North Carolina electric cooperatives have provided more than $7.9 million for 7,700 classroom projects, impacting more than 1.4 million students in North Carolina.