Along with paying them more, and awarding them for their own achievements, we should always look for ways to thank public school teachers. Praise them, honor them, and recognize them too.
But we can also help them do an even better job.
Pee Dee Electric has been doing just that for nearly 20 years and ought to be getting an award of its own for such a wonderful and inspirational program.
The electric cooperative honors area teachers and celebrates innovation in education by awarding a series of grants each year through its “Bright Ideas” program.
Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, Pee Dee Electric has contributed more than $177,500 to local teachers, and North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $7.9 million to teachers across the state.
The Bright Ideas program has reached more than 1.4 million North Carolina students and sponsored more than 7,700 projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts.
Pee Dee Electric recently announced its latest grant recipients, and the awarding of $13,500 in “Bright Ideas” education grants to local educators. More than 750 students in elementary, middle and high schools in Richmond, Scotland and Anson counties will participate in the nine projects funded by the grants this year.
“We’re thrilled to award these dedicated educators with Bright Ideas grants,” said Anne Edwards, marketing representative of Pee Dee Electric. “Their creative projects will no doubt help students reach their full potential and spark higher interest in learning for years to come.”
“Pee Dee Electric is committed to bettering the communities we serve, and we believe there is no better way than through the education of our youth,” Edwards said.
The winning teachers were honored at a special luncheon on Dec. 5, where they shared their ideas with fellow teachers and others.
One of the 10 teachers honored, Amy Tadlock, of West Rockingham Elementary School, proposed a project for the Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) students of fourth and fifth grades throughout the county. Her proposal, “Essential Elementary Economy,” focuses on giving children the experience and responsibilities of participating in the economy. The students will come up with their own currency, job descriptions, spreadsheets, bills, payroll checks and banks.
“They will even create their own notices for late payments on bills,” said Tadlock. “Every person is going to have to learn the real world experience of economy.”
Now that’s a valuable lesson plan.
The Bright Ideas application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2013. To find out more about the Bright Ideas program, visit www.pdemc.com or www.ncbrightideas.com.
We’ve all heard the stories … about the dedicated teacher who reaches into her own pocket to pay for needed supplies. Some of us have even witnessed the truth of that too-often scenario.
We have so many wonderful, devoted and caring teachers who deserve more — more credit, more money, more appreciation.
Pee Dee Electric’s Bright Ideas program was one of the brightest ideas we’ve heard in a long time.