Blue Star


Union Power Cooperative Gave $2,000 Bright Ideas Grant to Stallings Elementary Teacher

Monroe, N.C., November 16, 2011– A Stallings Elementary School teacher has an innovative idea to make reading a family affair for 200 students. Her plan for Family Literacy Nights, which will bring kids and their families together for two fun-filled evenings of reading activities during the school year, has caught the attention of Union Power Cooperative and the Carolina Panthers.
Yesterday, representatives from Union Power Cooperative, which sponsors the Bright Ideas education grant program, two Carolina Panthers players and Sir Purr, paid a surprise visit to Stallings Elementary School to present a $2,000 Bright Ideas grant for the project “Family Literacy Night.” Receiving the special recognition was teacher Brooke Kramb who submitted the winning Bright Ideas grant.
The goal of the program is to immerse children and their families in literature experiences that promote the love of reading at home as well as provide books and informational materials the families can add to their “home libraries.” For each Family Literacy event, the school chooses a theme and hosts guest readers. Past guest readers include former Carolina Panthers player Brenston Buchner and 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Silver Medalist Paul Wylie.
“We are excited to see the outcome of this project,” said Carrie Cameron, Manager of Communications for Union Power. “Literacy programs such as this foster a love of reading that hopefully will remain with these children throughout their lives. Involving students’ families and providing reading materials has a significant impact on helping them succeed as they move through school and into college.”
Carolina Panthers Linebacker Thomas Williams and Defensive End Thomas Keiser took part in a special school assembly on Tuesday, November 15. The players energized students and spoke to them about the importance of reading and education.

Carolina Panthers Linebacker Thomas Williams and Defensive End Thomas Keiser took part in a special school assembly

The surprise event was part of a month-long Bright Ideas celebration. During November, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives will award more than $590,000 to deserving teachers across the state. The Bright Ideas grant program awards grants up to $2,000 for innovative classroom-based projects. Since its
beginning in 1994, the Bright Ideas program has presented more than $7.3 million to Tar Heel educators. More
than 6,500 projects in subjects ranging from mathematics to the arts have been funded by the Bright Ideas grant program, benefiting more than 1.3 million students throughout the state. Union Power Cooperative has contributed nearly $250,000 to educators in its five-county service area, funding 263 projects over the past 17 years.
Union Power Cooperative is a member-owned electric cooperative, which provides electric service to nearly 66,000 members in Union, Stanly, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Rowan counties.

The following schools and teachers from Union County were awarded:

Stallings Elementary – Brooke Kramb won for her project, “Family Literacy Night.” ($2,000)

Benton Heights Elementary – Dawn Moretz won for her project, “Shadow Stories.” ($406)

Cuthbertson Middle School – Jennifer Fogle and Shaun Ferron won for their project, “Clean Water Project.” ($1,400)

Forest Hills High School – Brenda Williams, Christy Burris and Patricia Perkoski won for their project, “Forest Hills Going Green.” ($1,105)

Piedmont High School – Tracy Price, Susan Helms, Annette Harris, Tim Blair, and Karen Bunch won for their project, “A Cross Curricular Art Experience in 3-D.” ($2,000)

Sardis Elementary – Dee Cochran won for her project, “The Reading Cafe.” ($324)

Piedmont High School – Susan Helms and Tracy Price won for their project, “The Sculptural World of Prosthetics.” ($2,000)


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