2021 Bright Ideas Grants awarded

During the last year it has become even more apparent how vital area educators are to our youth. Whether in the classroom or virtually, their dedication to educating our future leaders has never wavered. To enhance their efforts, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) is proud to award $24,000 in grants to benefit local classrooms and students through the Bright Ideas Grant Program.

The program was introduced more than 20 years ago with a goal of supporting innovative, interesting and effective initiatives that school funding does not usually cover. Grants help enhance teachers’ efforts and are awarded to individuals or teams in public, private and home schools within CAEC’s service area.

With 23 funded projects, including studying human skin with lifelike models and conducting science experiments with a fully functional weather station, educators will continue to have the opportunity to teach their students critical thinking skills through these creative initiatives. 

Applications were reviewed by a panel of judges from local community associations, and they awarded $24,000 in grants to benefit nearly 3,800 students across several counties in CAEC’s service area.

“For more than 20 years we’ve aided educators in their goal to enrich the lives of their students,” said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. “We are honored to provide assistance to our educators, especially in these often-unpredictable times, by providing some sense of normalcy with the tools they need to be successful as well as instilling in them the desire for a lifetime of learning.”

To date, CAEC has awarded $352,000 to local schools through the program, benefiting nearly 132,000 students across all grade levels and subject matters. The application process for 2021/2022 Bright Ideas Grants will begin this September. Teachers receiving funding from this year’s grants are:

Autauga County: April Baker, Autauga County Preschool Special Education; Kelly Bass and Shelley Sims, Pine Level Elementary School; Ashely Brock and Gregory Hilyer, Billingsley School; Jessica Fuller, Prattville Intermediate School; Debbie Langham, Prattville Primary School; Mandi Suggs, Daniel Pratt Elementary School; and Natalie Warren, Prattville High School.

Chilton County: Christa Garner, Heather Ramer and Sarah Robinson, Jemison Intermediate School; Macey Gentry, Jemison Elementary School; Angela Tignor, Clanton Intermediate; Allyson Welborn and CarolLynn Adams, Clanton Middle School; Stacie Wells and Anna Adams, Clanton Elementary School; Shannon Wyatt and Ginny Pike, Verbena Annex; and Brittany Yeargan, Maplesville High School.

Elmore County: Taryn Brodie, Wetumpka Elementary School; Amy Harrell and Candice Rowe, Eclectic Middle School; Stephanie Harrison, Holtville High School; Lana Herbert and Jennifer Taylor, Eclectic Middle School; Lori Higgins and Amy Colquitt, Elmore County Technical Center;  Heather Perdue, Lauren Holena and Christina Sanders, Coosada Elementary School; Julie Powell, Elmore County High School; Flavia Payson-Freeney and Kayla Harbin, Millbrook Middle School; and Melinda Tyler, Wetumpka Elementary School.