Cross Schools teacher Heather Brougham-Cook holds a Bright Ideas check to fund her classroom project, Mistakes are Stepping Stones for Success.

Palmetto Electric Trust and Palmetto Electric Cooperative recently awarded $44,650 to winning teachers and their team members through the 14th annual Bright Ideas grant program. The prize team visited classrooms and awarded grants Oct. 23-25.

Earlier this year, teachers from southern Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties submitted proposals for innovative classroom projects. A total of 98 grant applications, totaling more than $86,484, were received.

“This year, we are excited to awarded 57 grants to benefit more than 9,000 students in our three county service area,” said Berl Davis, president and CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative.

The Cooperative’s Bright Ideas Prize Team surprised the winning teachers and presented the money where it will be used – in the classrooms. Teachers were greeted with balloons, gift bags and their checks at each school. Later in November, the cooperative will host a recognition luncheon at Palmetto Electric’s New River facility to honor the recipients and their administrators.

Bluffton winners are:

  • Mary Sue Norwood, School Garden, Bluffton Middle School
  • Brandon Smith, National History Day Competition, Bluffton Middle School
  • Heather Brougham-Cook, Mistakes are Stepping Stones for Success, Cross Schools
  • Heidi R. McAllister, Escaping to History, H. E. McCracken Middle School
  • Jana Goodwin Shea, Exploring the Invisible World, H. E. McCracken Middle School
  • Kristin Stevenson, Ozobot Math, H.E. McCracken Middle School
  • Jennifer Green, Physical Fitness for Our Future, May River Montessori
  • William James, A Colorful Community Connection, River Ridge Academy
  • Tennille Scheriff, A Day in the Deep, River Ridge Academy
  • Ann Caruso, Bots and Books in the Library!, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School
  • Barbara Pittman, Gardening: A STREAM Approach, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School

The Bright Ideas program was created in 2004 as a way to benefit local teachers in grades K-12. These grants give teachers the money required to put their innovative classroom projects into action. Since the program’s inception, area teachers have received more than $465,349 in grants.

Palmetto Electric Trust is supported by funds from Operation Round Up, a program in which the Cooperative’s members round their electric bill up to the nearest whole dollar.

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