ucps logo

Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools

Search by Keyword

Union Power gives UCPS teachers grant money for their ‘Bright Ideas’

Jessica Lequire, a teacher at Kensington Elementary School, received a $1,439 Bright Ideas grant for her proposal titled “Drumming Up Success.” Also pictured, standing from left, is Dr. Rachel Clarke, Kensington principal; Carrie Cameron, Union Power Bright Ideas coordinator; Carolina Panthers team mascot Sir Purr; Jessica Lequire; and Carolina Panthers players Byron Bell, Armond Smith, and Ben Hartsock.

A Kensington Elementary School teacher, with an innovative idea to help kids reach new levels of success in school through drumming ensembles, has caught the attention of the Carolina Panthers and Union Power Cooperative.

Representatives from Union Power Cooperative, which sponsors the Bright Ideas education grant program, and Carolina Panthers players and team mascot Sir Purr recently paid a surprise visit to Jessica Lequire’s classroom at Kensington Elementary School and presented her with a $1,439 Bright Ideas grant for her proposal titled “Drumming Up Success.”

Carolina Panthers players Byron Bell (offensive tackle), Armond Smith (running back) and Ben Hartsock (tight end) lead a special school assembly at Kensington, speaking to them about the importance of working hard in school and having a passion for learning.

Lequire was one of several UCPS teachers to receive Bright Ideas grants. Miranda Thomas from Marvin Elementary and Angela Hill from Western Union Elementary won $792 for their project, “Young Authors as Mentors.”

Susan Helms, Tracy Price, Annette Harris and Dawn Stegall from Piedmont High School won $1,800 for their project, “People, Places and Silly Faces . . . North Carolina Face Jugs.” Piedmont High School teachers Tracy Price, Susan Helms and Marianne Oprea also won $1,500 for their project, “Impacting Images.

Jack Kasell, Laura LaLone, Catherine McCloskey, Christy Tolentino and Nancy Pate from Weddington High School won $1,500 for their project, “Camp Excellence 2012: STEM.”

The Bright Ideas grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, strives to improve education in North Carolina classrooms by awarding grants to teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects in grades K-12; projects that would not otherwise be funded. The Bright Ideas program funds creative teaching ideas to meet the needs of area students.

More than 1,750 UCPS students will benefit from these grants. “We are excited to see the kids develop new skills that will serve them for a lifetime, and at the same time, have a lot of fun,” said Carrie Cameron, Union Power Bright Ideas coordinator. “I have no doubt that this project will spark enthusiasm for learning and boost confidence in students for years to come.”

The funds go to teachers, principals and other educators serving grades K-12, with awards of up to $2,000 being offered for projects in any discipline. Volunteer judges, including educators and community leaders, in a competitive evaluation process, screen the grant applications.

During November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives awarded more than $600,000 to educators statewide to fund more than 500 projects.
Since its beginning in 1994, the Bright Ideas program has presented more than $7.9 million to North Carolina educators. More than 7,700 projects, in subjects ranging from mathematics to the arts, have been funded by the Bright Ideas grant program, benefiting more than 1.4 million students throughout the state.

Written by: Carrie Cameron, Union Power Bright Ideas coordinator
Posted: Nov 28, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

Back to list of stories for Union County Public Schools