Chilton 2024 Bright Ideas Grant recipients announced

Published 1:07 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s Bright Ideas Grant Program benefitted 12 educators in Chilton County with grants for programs to help their students.

The teachers in Chilton County that received grants from the 2024 CAEC Bright Ideas Grant Program were Hollie Colburn of Chilton County High School, Julie Harrison of Clanton Elementary School, Haley Lively of Clanton Intermediate School, Josh Holt, JoAnna Jones, Thomas McCall, Regina Smitherman, Amanda Sosa and Chris Turner of Isabella High School, Justin Brock and Patricia Turner of Maplesville High School and Jo Ann Summers of Verbena High School. The projects the grants will be used for range from discovering relief art, producing sculptures with polymer clay and creating a Science Olympiad team.

“I cannot express how truly thankful we are to have such dedicated individuals instructing and influencing the future leaders and workforce of our communities,” Tom Stackhouse, CAEC President and CEO, said in a press release from CAEC. “We are honored to provide assistance to our educators who work persistently to impact all students by providing them the tools they need to be successful as well as instilling in them the desire for a lifetime of learning. You all are heroes, and we are incredibly thankful to be able to award these funds to you.”

The Bright Ideas Grant Program has been giving aid to educators in Alabama for over 20 years with a goal of “supporting innovative, interesting and effective initiatives that school funding does not usually cover,” the press release said.

Since the program’s inception, CAEC has awarded $376,000 in grants to local schools and impacted over 130,000 students.

All applications submitted to the program are reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of local community associations. In 2024, $24,000 in grants were awarded to 24 different projects across 21 different schools that will impact nearly 7,000 students within five counties in CAEC’s service area, including Chilton County.

Applications for the 2025 Bright Ideas Grant Program will be available in September.