Ashe Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy

Bruce Walter Dillard
November 18, 2020
Friday, November 20th
November 19, 2020

Ashe Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy

Ashe Teachers Win Bright Ideas Grants from Blue Ridge Energy


West Jefferson, North Carolina (November 18, 2020) – Exciting, hands-on learning
projects are coming to local classrooms thanks to $7,747 in Bright Ideas grants
awarded recently by Blue Ridge Energy to educators during a special virtual
celebration honoring winning teachers and their schools. Bright Ideas is an academic
grants program sponsored annually by Blue Ridge Energy. Bright Ideas grants help
further traditional academic learning by funding innovative scholastic projects that
go beyond available school funding.

For its 26th year of grant making, Blue Ridge Energy is awarding $25,139 to 28
classrooms in its service area of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes and
Avery counties. To date, Blue Ridge Energy has awarded more than $544,000 in Bright
Ideas classroom grants that has impacted over 100,000 local students and teachers.

Ashe/Wilkes counties grant winning teachers are:

Alexandra Miller, Westwood Elementary, for “Growing Minds Growing Plants.” This
$250 grant will improve garden beds started in 2019 to construct raised garden beds
and add support for covered hoops. The project helps students work together to solve
problems and learn long-term planning.

Sara Lambert, Westwood Elementary, for “Pass the Mic!” The grant for $816 will
purchase a Qball, a padded microphone that looks like a ball and can be treated as
such. Using the Qball will encourage students to interact in a game-like format
while social distancing. Qball will strengthen the social/emotional health of
students as it shows that every voice matters.

Kevin Miller, Westwood Elementary, for “I’ll Take P.E. to Go Please.” This
$750 grant will enable the students enrolled in remote learning an opportunity to
have equipment and online guidance.

Mazie Sullivan, Westwood Elementary, for “Rockin Robots.” The grant for $1,220
will purchase six Dash robots with xylophone attachments. Music class will never
look or sound the same after students code and compose with Dash robots!

Taylor Hinrichs, Westwood Elementary, for “Stop Being So-So and Start Using
Osmo.” This $1,267 grant will purchase a technology-based project that
incorporates mathematics and phonics skills. Students will use an iPad with the Osmo
device for applications that teach real-life problem solving skills and
curriculum-based goals.

Katherine Greene, Ashe County High School, for “Art in the Home: Equality with Art
Supplies.” This $1,499 grant will be used to provide quality art supplies to each
student enrolled in one of the visual arts courses offered with Ashe online
learning.

Makayla Spencer, Westwood Elementary, for “Quilting the Curriculum.” This $191
grant will fund a collaborative project for 2nd and 4th grade students that
incorporates art into social studies and math curriculum with creation of a Freedom
Barn quilt mural.

Ruth Turnmire, Mountain View Elementary, for “Ready-Set-R.E.A.D. (Reading,
Engaging, Achieving, Discovering).” This $1,496 grant will provide families of
at-risk readers and English learners with interactive literacy kits that spark
creativity and actively connect children with texts.

Janet St. John, Wilkesboro Elementary, for “Consent.” This $258 grant will
purchase a selection of books about sensitive issues such as child abuse and neglect
to help students learn how to better identify consent issues and to also help school
counselors and teachers meet the need of students.

According to Ashe District Manager Tasha Rountree, these winning teachers are also
helping their schools as Blue Ridge Energy is awarding an additional $150 to each of
their schools to assist with COVID-related teaching challenges. “This is a unique
time for our students and educators. I’m pleased and proud that Blue Ridge is able
to fund creative classroom ideas and provide a little help to each of the winning
schools.” Rountree explained.

Blue Ridge Energy is part of several North Carolina electric cooperatives providing
Bright Ideas grants. Together, they have provided more than $12.9 million for
classroom projects impacting over 2.5 million students in North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Energy is a member-owned electric cooperative serving some 76,000 members
in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. To
learn more about the Bright Ideas grants program, visit Blue Ridge Energy’s web
site at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com<http://www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com> or contact your
local Blue Ridge Energy office.
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