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County teachers get grants

Central Alabama Electric Cooperative assisted teachers, students and area schools by awarding $16,000 in grants to benefit more than 6,300 students in Central Alabama, through the Bright Ideas grant program.

CAEC’s Board of Trustees presented 18 of the 25 winning grants to area teachers during the Bright Ideas Grant Awards Reception held Feb. 3 at the cooperative’s headquarters in Prattville. Grant proposals were evaluated by a panel of judges, consisting of employees from local community associations.

Chilton County teachers receiving 2009 grants are: Tara McKeever Allred and Paula Avery, Jemison High School; Everette Lewis, Chilton County High School; Garry L. Jones, Clanton Middle School; Jackie DeJarnett, Clanton Middle School; Jay LeCroy, Lanis Robinson and Crystal Culpepper, Isabella High School.

The Bright Ideas Grant Program was introduced by CAEC in 1998 with the goal of supporting innovative, interesting and effective initiatives that are not usually covered by traditional school funding. Grants are intended to help teachers in public, private and home schools in CAEC’s service area to enhance their efforts.

With classroom funding being restricted due to state economic woes, the program is taking on a new and more important meaning by allowing teachers to continue teaching in creative ways despite the lack of funds.

“During these economic times when everyone, especially educators, is being hit hard, we’re glad we can continue to offer assistance to those who teach in our classrooms. We are honored to be able to support individuals on the front lines molding our future leaders,” said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse.

To date, CAEC has awarded approximately $176,000 to local schools through the program. More than 63,000 students in all grade levels and subject areas have benefited from the Bright Ideas grants.