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Bright Ideas

The Bright Ideas program began with the North Carolina Statewide EMC in 1994 and has since been adopted by many EMC's across the country, including Southern Rivers Energy.

It is funded by our Operation Round Up program and is aimed at providing teachers in our communities with the tools they need to make their creative and innovative lesson plans a reality for their students.

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It is our hope that these grants will inspire teachers to think outside the box and create exciting projects that will re-energize their classrooms!


Who is eligible?
Any teacher who teaches grades PK-12 at any public or private school located in Southern Rivers Energy's service territory is eligible to apply for a Bright Ideas grant.Teacher holding large grant check and flowers

Can multiple teachers from the same school apply?
Yes, a school may submit more than one application.

Can a teacher apply for multiple grants?
No, teachers may only be an applicant of one project per school year.

What is the maximum grant amount?
The maximum grant amount is $1,000. 

What qualities is SRE looking for in the grant applications?
Innovative, creative learning experiences for students (40 percent)
Benefits and directly involves students (15 percent)
Clearly defined plan of implementation (30 percent)
Involves teamwork (5 percent)
Provides an adequate budget summary (5 percent)

When will I know if I have been awarded a grant?
Grant winners will be notified when the Bright Ideas Brigade makes its rounds in October.

Who judges the applications?
A panel of judges review applications and rank them based on innovative teaching methods that benefit students. To prevent teachers from having to spend their money to make a project a reality, partial grants are no longer awarded.

Does Southern Rivers Energy accept applications from private schools?
Yes, private school teacher are more than welcome to submit applications.

If a previous grant winner accepts a teaching a job at another school, is he or she allowed to take materials and equipment purchased with the grant to the new school?
No. Because grants are awarded based on the school environment outlined in the application and because the checks are made directly to the schools, any materials or equipment purchased are considered school property and must remain with that school system.

Grant Guidelines

  • Grants are open to all subjects.
  • Grants will be awarded to certified school teachers instructing students in grades PK-12 (public or private) in Bibb, Coweta, Crawford, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Pike, Spalding and Upson counties.  
  • Applicants agree that their name, photo and project may be used in print, broadcast and other forms of media in publications of Southern Rivers Energy and the Southern Rivers Energy Trust, Inc.
  • Bright Ideas grants are not meant for general school supplies.
  • No handwritten applications will be accepted.
  • Maximum amount of grant is $1000. Projects can be funded up to $1,000. 
  • Projects must benefit students in grades PK-12. 
  • Teachers may only be an applicant or team member of one project per school year.
  • Teachers cannot submit an application for a project that was funded previously. However, applications that build on a project that was previously funded are permitted.
  • Principal must approve project.
  • Do not include the name of your county or school in parts 2, 3 or 4.  Failure to follow application guidelines will result in disqualification.

Important Dates

  • Applications must be submitted and received before 12:00 a.m. Friday, September 1, 2017.
  • Early Bird deadline and entry in the $250 OfficeMax gift card drawing is August 18, 2017.
  • Applications received after the September 1, 2017 deadline will not be considered.
  • Check presentations by the Bright Ideas Brigade will be made the week of Oct. 16, 2017.

Selection Criteria

  • Uses innovative, creative learning experiences for students (40 percent) 
  • Benefits and directly involves students (15 percent) 
  • Involves teamwork (10 percent) 
  • Clearly defined goals, learning objectives and plan of implementation (30 percent) 
  • Provides an adequate budget summary (5 percent)

If a grant is awarded:

  • Grant must be used within 18 months. 
  • Applicant will follow up with a report about grant. 
  • Applicant and team members grant sponsors the right to use their name, photo and information about grant in publicity.


Contact Kathryn Claxton at 770-358-1383 or 877-358-1383 ext. 348 or

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