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Flint Energies awards $20,000 in Bright Ideas grants to teachers | Community Spirit

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Flint Energies awards $20,000 in Bright Ideas grants to teachers
Flint Energies awards $20,000 in Bright Ideas grants to teachers

Flint Energies and its philanthropic arm, the Flint Energies Foundation awarded a total of $20,000 to teachers for creative and innovative lesson plans in the eighth year of the co-op’s Bright Ideas program.

Winning teachers were surprised in their classrooms by the Bright Ideas Prize Brigade representatives from Flint Energies with flowers, balloons, gift bags and “big” checks on November 5 and 12 and December 11.  The Bright Ideas program distributes grants of up to $1,000 for teachers to implement creative, innovative projects or lessons with students.  The grants are not available for professional development or SmartBoard or iPad requests.

This year $20,000 in Bright Ideas grants were given to 23 winning teachers and their team members at schools in Houston, Crawford, Marion, Schley, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, and Upson counties.

Manager of Public Relations, Marian McLemore, stated, “Bright Ideas is the cornerstone to Flint’s commitment to education.  It is our Foundation’s way of rewarding those teachers who are looking for ways to inspire their students beyond the pages of their textbooks.  Budget cuts have hindered many class projects.  With Bright Ideas, Flint is able to fund innovative and creative lesson plans and bring them to life.  That in turn gets students passionate about learning.”

Earlier this year, Flint Energies and the Foundation invited teachers who teach grades K-12 at public or private schools located in the co-op’s service territory to apply for the grants.  Flint Energies service area encompasses parts of Bibb, Chattahoochee, Crawford, Dooly, Harris, Houston, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Muscogee, Peach, Schley, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Twiggs and Upson counties.  In September, the Cooperative received 33 grant applications, totaling nearly $31,000 from teachers.  A panel of retired educators and a homeschool teacher served as judges and reviewed the applications.  The top scoring lesson plan ideas were funded.

2013 Bright Ideas grant winners:

  • Randy Rush, Enhancing Reading Fluency and Comprehension, Miller Elementary, Warner Robins, $818.00
  • Amanda Hayes, Grow, Eat, Learn, Northside Middle, Warner Robins, $413.21
  • Phylliss Grane, The Tigerneers Club, Thomson Middle, Centerville, $1,000.00
  • Phyllis Kimball, Junior Youth Assembly, Thomson Middle, Centerville, $1,000.00
  • Terra McMillan, Astrophotography Lab, Thomson Middle, Centerville, $1,000.00
  • Christina Voight, STEM Lego Lab, Eagle Springs Elementary, Byron, $997.10
  • Melissa Sullivan, Alto and Tenor Recorders, Eagle Springs Elementary, Byron, $1,000.00
  • Angela Foster, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You, Eagle Springs Elementary, Byron, $754.28
  • Dennis Peavy, Upon Closer Examination, Lake Joy Elementary, Warner Robins, $1,000.00
  • James Judson, Composting:  Making Use of Biodegradable Garbage, Feagin Mill Middle, Warner Robins, $1,000.00
  • Dawn Hardy, Lego Robotics, David A. Perdue Primary, Warner Robins, $1,000.00
  • Justin Bennett, Landscape Design in Action, Mossy Creek Middle, Kathleen, $1,000.00
  • Heather Riley, We’re a Team:  Family Math Nights, Hilltop Elementary, Bonaire, $650.00
  • Cheralyn Keily, Rabbit Showing:  Where the Classroom Meets the Real World, Bonaire Middle, Bonaire, $506.00
  • Alice Mullis, The Best Me:  Choosing Healthy Foods, Bonaire Middle, Bonaire, $970.00
  • Amy Hill, Farm Fridays Take to the Road, Crawford County Elementary, Roberta, $1,000.00
  • Amanda Gibson, Keep CCHS Clean and Beautiful, Crawford County High, Roberta, $1,000.00
  • Brenda Sapp, The Civil War:  Friends Fighting Against Friends, Taylor County Upper Elementary, Butler, $1,000.00
  • Denita Hall, Beautiful Butterflies, Upson Lee South Elementary, Thomaston, $332.69
  • Palvi Mohanty, Water, Water, Central Talbotton High, Talbotton, $1,000.00
  • Robin Hall, Reaching All Readers, Schley County Elementary, Ellaville, $889.26
  • Leah Henderson, Super Science Day, Staley Middle School, Americus, $993.25
  • Faye Wells, The Write Touch, Marion County Middle High School, Buena Vista, $676.21

Sandy Goodroe, a teacher at Marion County Middle High School in Buena Vista, won the online application drawing by submitting her Bright Ideas grant application on Flint’s website.  She received a $250 Staples gift card to purchase supplies for her classroom.

Bethany Copeland, a teacher at Peach County High School in Fort Valley, won a digital camera for her classroom in the early bird drawing.

Flint Energies began its Bright Ideas program in 2006 and has awarded nearly $95,000 in grant money to teachers for 111 projects teaching more than 3,300 students in Middle Georgia.

About Operation RoundUp and Flint Foundation

In 2001, Flint Energies adopted this uniquely simple and rewarding way to enable members to raise money for local charities and service organizations - Operation RoundUp®. The electric cooperative’s members contribute nearly $300,000 annually to the Flint Energies Foundation, which supports worthy causes in the 17 counties it serves. Operation RoundUp® is a way for members to add voluntarily to those funds in their own unique way.

Participating members allow Flint Energies to “round-up” their bill to the nearest dollar. For example, if a bill is $92.71, a member will pay $93, with all 29 cents going directly to the Flint Energies Foundation. On average, a member will contribute $6 a year, but never more than $11.88. If a member decides not to participate or chooses to discontinue contributions at any time, they may simply contact Flint Energies. Nearly 70% of Flint’s members have chosen to participate. Donations to Operation RoundUp® are tax deductible and members receive a summary of contributions in future January and February bills.

The Flint Energies Foundation Board of Directors disburses all contributions to approved, worthy projects. Member contributions are not used for administration costs. The Foundation is a state-chartered, non-profit, 501(c) foundation. Foundation Board members include Chairman Kathy Waites, Fort Valley; Secretary Joanne Hamlin, Lizella; Treasurer Jane Hobbs, Oglethorpe; Sara Mitchem, Kathleen; Charles Harrison, Grovania; Connie McCutchen, Midland; Pat Bartness, Warner Robins; George West, Kathleen; Susan Melvin, Warner Robins, Rudy Killingsworth, Buena Vista and Eloise Doty, Butler.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began Operation RoundUp, in 1989. Since that time, more than 200 other electric membership cooperatives nationwide have chosen to adopt the program. Funding applications are available by contacting Flint Energies at 1.800.342.3616 or visiting the My Community section of www.flintenergies.com.

About Flint Energies www.flintenergies.com

Flint Energies is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by thousands of members in parts of 17 central Georgia counties. Flint directly employs 233 employees and serves more than 86,000 electric meters. We are 100% locally-controlled and democratically governed by 11 members elected from among the membership. In 1937, Flint Energies was created to bring people together to meet common needs like reliable electric energy, and our mission remains focused on improving the quality of life in Middle Georgia.

Flint is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, part of the nationwide family of electric cooperatives exhibiting the core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Flint Energies is also a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, part of a nationwide family of electric cooperatives exhibiting the core values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Flint’s members give their cooperative an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score of 85, which rates higher than most investor-owned utilities in the country.

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