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$10,000 in Bright Ideas grants awarded to teachers

Flint Energies and its philanthropic arm, the Flint Energies Foundation awarded a total of $10,000 to teachers for creative and innovative lesson plans in the eleventh year of the co-op’s Bright Ideas program.


Winning teachers were surprised in their classrooms by the Bright Ideas Prize Brigade representatives from Flint Energies with flowers, balloons, gift bags and “big” checks on November 1, 2 and 6.  The Bright Ideas program distributes grants of up to $1,000 for teachers to implement creative, innovative projects or lessons with students.  The grants are not available for professional development or SmartBoard or iPad requests.


This year $10,000 in Bright Ideas grants were given to 12 winning teachers and their team members at schools in Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Peach and Schley counties.


Vice President of Cooperative Communications, Marian McLemore, stated, “Bright Ideas continues to be a major part of Flint’s commitment to education.  Our Foundation supports and encourages innovative and creative lesson plans that benefit students in the communities we serve. We’re dedicated to supporting local teachers who are energizing and inspiring their students beyond the pages of textbooks and the confines of classroom walls.”


Earlier this year, Flint Energies and the Foundation invited teachers who teach grades K-12 at public or private schools located in the co-op’s service territory to apply for the grants.  Flint Energies service area encompasses parts of Bibb, Chattahoochee, Crawford, Dooly, Harris, Houston, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Muscogee, Peach, Schley, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Twiggs and Upson counties.  In September, the Cooperative received 59 grant applications, totaling nearly $60,000 from teachers.  A panel of retired educators served as judges and reviewed the applications.  The top scoring lesson plan ideas were funded.


2017 Bright Ideas grant winners:

  • Robin Hall, Listen Up!, Schley County Elementary School, Ellaville, $377.79
  • Hailey Henderson, Students in the Spotlight, Schley County High School, Ellaville, $1,000.00
  • Shelley Greer, Molecular Madness, The Westfield School, Perry, $522.63
  • Lauren Johnson, Graphs are Everywhere, Crawford County High School, Roberta, $884.00
  • Rachael Smith, YouTube Can Ukulele and You Can Too!, Howard Middle School, Macon, $989.86
  • Jeremy Fermin, Got Flute?, Veterans High School, Kathleen, $951.45
  • Terra McMillan, Code to Learn, Thomson Middle School, Centerville, $936.50
  • Darron Counselman, Exploring the Small Stuff, Thomson Middle School, Centerville, $990.00
  • Diana Brown, Adding It All Up, Eagle Springs Elementary School, Byron, $991.31
  • Rhonda King, Alternative Seating for Students, Eagle Springs Elementary School, Centerville, $1,000.00
  • Joy Bassett, Full STEAM Ahead!, Byron Elementary School, Byron, $957.46
  • Melissa Williamson, Skype in the Classroom, Langston Road Elementary School, Perry, $399.00


Stacy Perry, a teacher at Crawford County Middle School in Roberta, won an iPad mini for her classroom in the early bird drawing.


Flint Energies began its Bright Ideas program in 2006 and has awarded nearly $170,000 in grant money to teachers for 198 projects teaching more than 5,940 students in Middle Georgia.


About Operation Round Up and Flint Foundation

In 2001, Flint Energies adopted this uniquely simple and rewarding way to enable members to raise money for local charities and service organizations - Operation Round Up®. The electric cooperative’s members contribute nearly $300,000 annually to the Flint Energies Foundation, which supports worthy causes in the 17 counties it serves. Operation Round Up® is a way for members to add voluntarily to those funds in their own unique way.


Participating members allow Flint Energies to “round-up” their bill to the nearest dollar. For example, if a bill is $92.71, a member will pay $93, with all 29 cents going directly to the Flint Energies Foundation. On average, a member will contribute $6 a year, but never more than $11.88. If a member decides not to participate or chooses to discontinue contributions at any time, they may simply contact Flint Energies. Nearly 70% of Flint’s members have chosen to participate. Donations to Operation Round Up® are tax deductible and members receive a summary of contributions in future January and February bills.


The Flint Energies Foundation Board of Directors disburses all contributions to approved, worthy projects. Member contributions are not used for administration costs. The Flint Energies Foundation Board of Directors disburses all contributions to approved, worthy projects. Member contributions are not used for administration costs. The Foundation is a state-chartered, non-profit, 501(c) foundation. Foundation Board members include Chairman Kathy Waites, Fort Valley; Vice Chairman Joanne Hamlin, Lizella; Treasurer Connie McCutchen, Midland; Gina Fink, Kathleen; Charles Harrison, Grovania; Pat Bartness, Warner Robins; Traci Kemp, Warner Robins;  John Luppino, Warner Robins; Rudy Killingsworth, Buena Vista; Eloise Doty, Butler and Betty Chase, Oglethorpe.


Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, began Operation Round Up, in 1989. Since that time, more than 200 other electric membership cooperatives nationwide have chosen to adopt the program. Funding applications are available by contacting Flint Energies at 1.800.342.3616 or visiting the My Community section of

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