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Last month, Tri-County EMC surprised 15 local teachers with $19,700 in educational grants. Since 2008, Tri-County Electric Membership Cooperative has provided more than $70,000 in grants to local schools. Funded by unclaimed capital credits, the grants help teachers improve education in their classrooms through innovative projects that would otherwise not be funded. Georgia certified public or private school teachers in grades Pre-K through 12 in Baldwin, Jones, Putnam, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties qualify to apply.


Outside judges evaluated 78 blind applications for innovation, goals, objectives, student involvement and budget. A total of 15 grants were funded. Thanks to all teachers who applied in 2011 and we look forward to seeing your applications in 2012. The Bright Ideas Grant winners are listed below.

Baldwin County:
“To Know Science is to Do Science” - $1,367.00 – Blandy Hills Elementary School teacher, Katrina Veal, will purchase hands-on life science, Earth science, and physical science materials to increase the amount of science taught in the classroom.

Jones County:
“Using Nooks to Hook Teen Readers” - $1,414.76 – Clifton Ridge Middle School teacher, Roban Johnson, will use Nooks in the classroom to promote teen reading.


“Using Tablets to Teach Students with Autism” - $1,243.92 – Dames Ferry Elementary School teacher, Amber Simpson, will use digital tablets to help students with Autism improve fine motor, communication, social, vocational and cognitive skills through applications specifically designed for autistic students.


“Scoping the World Around Us”-$1,077.45 – Gray Station Middle School teacher, Marjorie Toole, will use microscopes to allow children to examine indoor and outdoor organisms and compare and contrast traits between different organisms.

“iLearning with iPads” - $1,498.00 – Jones County High School media specialist, Renee Kitchens, and two social studies teachers will use iPads in project based learning to present students with a question or challenge and allow students to reach the answer through research, analysis, teamwork and problem solving.

“Geometric Measurement Lessons with VAP” - $340.70 – Mattie Wells Elementary School teacher, Jane Stiles, will use AIMS Essential Math books and materials to implement step-by-step math lessons with special needs students.

“SMART (Staying Motivated And Ready to Learn)” - $1,500 – Turner Woods Elementary School teacher, Kim Collins, will allow the students to be the teacher when they work together in teams to develop a lesson and present it using the Smart Board.


“iPad, You Pad, We Pad!” - $1,497.98 – Turner Woods Elementary School teacher, Rachael Williams, will use iPads to allow students to develop newscasts to broadcast to the school, read e-books, use math applications, and use barcode scanners to write book reports and stories.


Putnam County:

“Integrating Technology Through Math and Science” - $1,341.78- Putnam County Elementary School teacher, Jamie McCuin, will use iPods to teach math and science through interactive games and projects.


“E-Reading to Excellence” - $1,429.96 – Putnam County Elementary School teacher, Linda Walker, will use Kindle E-Readers to allow each E-Reader the opportunity to have a minimum of 25 age-appropriate E-books available for their use.

“Apps for Autism” - $1,497.00 – Putnam County High School teacher, April Smith, will use iPads to provide alternative communication and academic applications to autistic students.


“Programming With Robots” - $1,500.00 – Putnam County High School teacher, Julie Wade, will use software to allow students to learn the basics of engineering, problem solving and programming by building and testing robots.


“Walk A Mile In My Shoes!” - $1,484.00 – Putnam County Middle School teacher, Mary Sue McMichael, will integrate math and science lessons by investigating the science concepts of force, friction and inertia along with the mathematical concepts of slope, y-intercept, and function by investigating the design of the soles of various types of brands of shoes.


“You Can’t Deny It…It’s Electric” - $1,500 – Putnam County Middle School teacher, Christina Hood, will use hands on lab materials to teach electricity, magnetism and force with the use of digital tablets and tablet software.


“21st Centrury Reading”- $1,077.45 – Putnam County Middle School teacher, Nancy Smyth, will use Kindles to encourage the students to develop a love of reading through their love of technology.

2012 Bright Ideas grant applications will be due on December 1, 2012, with grants awarded in 2013. To learn more about Bright Ideas or to download an application, visit

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