Valdosta Daily Times

September 14, 2012

Colquitt EMC Awards grants to four Lowndes County teachers

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation awarded four Lowndes County teachers each with $1,000 Bright Ideas education grants.

Melanie Merritt and Sandi Parrish of Pine Grove Elementary, Stephanie Peterson of Westside Elementary School and Michelle Byington of Hahira Elementary were local winners.  On Wednesday, they were surprised in their classrooms and were each presented with a big check and goody bags courtesy of the “Bright Ideas Prize Team” – representatives from Colquitt EMC.

Teachers often have innovative ideas about how learning can be made more exciting and interesting for their students but do not always have the resources to implement these projects.  The purpose of the Bright Ideas education grant is to provide funding for those teachers to put their creative plans in action.

Earlier this year the cooperative invited teachers to submit grant proposals up to $1,000 each for creative lesson plans. Merritt created “Reading With Meaning: Paying It Forward” which focuses on reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.  Parrish will be incorporating a science, math, and writing project called “Tools to Help Young Minds Grow”.  Peterson of Westside Elementary will use funds to implement the program, “Word Choices”.  Finally, Byington created the “Wacky Wednesday Science Program”.

Funding for the grants is made possible through Georgia legislation that allows unclaimed capital credits to be used for education in the communities served by EMC’s.  Colquitt EMC is a member-owned cooperative that provides electricity to 43,000 members with approximately 63,700 meters in Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Lowndes, Tift and Worth counties.