2017-11-04 / Education

Teachers recognized for ‘Bright Ideas’

By Anna Fletcher
Courier-Times Staff Writer

Six Person County teachers have been awarded $1,500 each in educational grants through the Bright Ideas education grant program, sponsored by N.C. Electric Cooperatives. The program provides statewide funding for innovative, classroombased projects.

Local grant recipients are Roxboro Community School’s Ashley Bailey for her “Creating Savvy Student Scientists” project, Woodland Elementary School’s Richard Hughes for his “Let’s Move and Bang on Our Drum All Day” project, Person High School’s Blakely Lord for her “Shakespearience!” project, North Elementary School’s Kelly Pearce for her “Bringing the Outside In” project, Helena Elementary School’s Theresa Torian for her “Future Meteorologists” project and Oak Lane Elementary School’s Rachel Yarbrough for her “Flexible Seating Improves Learning” project.

This year, 27 projects from North Carolina teachers were chosen to receive grants, based on criteria including active involvement with students, creative and innovative teaching methods and ongoing benefits from the proposed project, according to the Bright Ideas website.

“The application process centers around how you will use the grant money for your students,” said Bailey, a biology teacher. “[Bright Ideas] was looking for a project that’s handson and will further students’ learning. You have to explain how students will be engaged and the long-term effect on them.”

Bailey designed her project for students in her advanced placement biology classes and will use the grant money toward lab kits, which she says will advance lab skills and college preparation.

“There’s an aspect of curiosity and creativity for students to have hands-on experience with measurable results,” she said. “They’re excited to apply their learning. ”

Rachel Yarbrough, an exceptional children teacher at Oak Lane, designed her project to spark curiosity and creativity in by changing the way students sit in the classroom.

“I wrote [the grant] for different seating options for students in my classroom,” she said. “A lot of my students have attention difficulties and difficulty focusing, and research has shown that students having somewhere to sit other than in the chair all day really helps them improve and be able to focus on what they’re working on.”

Since the organization’s start in 1994, it has funded almost 600 grants through North Carolina every year.

Return to top