At Independence Elementary School in Rock Hill, members of the “Geek Squad” are learning proper digital citizenship on social media. The extracurricular technology club is the idea of teacher Robert Hamm. Hamm is one of 12 local teachers to receive a Bright Ideas grant from York Electric and its Operation Round Up trust. In October, a team of employees and Trust board members selected the 12 recipients. A total of $20,000 was given out to support Bright Ideas grants for up to $1,000, along with an additional 23 Amazon Wishlist fulfillment nominations for up to $500 for classroom supplies. Teachers were notified in November and December by in-person visits, calls and emails to recognize their achievements.
Bright Ideas grants were awarded to projects that will create a positive learning environment that is both fun and educational for students. Additionally, teachers were nominated by their peers and community members to receive Wishlist fulfillments.
By supporting innovation and creativity, YEC and the Operation Trust board help to make local teachers’ dreams a reality and learning more engaging for students.
Grants are available to all teachers within York Electric Cooperative’s service territory, kindergarten through 12th grade. If you are a local teacher interested in applying for the Bright Ideas Grant Program for the 2024/2025 school year, the online application will be open on June 28.
Amazon Wishlist Fulfillment Recipients
- Natalie Ashe, 5th Grade English and Social Studies
- Kayla Blackwell, 5th Grade Math and Science
- Beth Bridges, 5th and 6th Grade Special Education
- Madison Bryant, 7th and 8th Grade Special Education
- Melina Burkell, 8th–12th Biology, Anatomy and Physiology
- Kathryn Burt, 4th Grade Math and Science
- Stephanie Caston, Kindergarten
- Angela Covington, 9th–12th Grade Engineering Pathway
- Hayleigh Fulton, 2nd Grade
- MaryAshley Gilfillan, 4K
- Amanda Heckert, Kindergarten-3rd Grade
- Scottee Horne, Special Education Multi-Level III
- Kimberly Long, Kindergarten Special Settings
- Janet Maslankowski, Kindergarten–5th Grade Special Education
- Courtney Montgomery, 1st Grade Math, Reading, History and Science
- Sharon Morrison, 11th–12th Grade Calculus
- Tierney Norris, 5th Grade Math
- Dawn O’Donnell, 6th Grade Math
- Michelle Sanders, 2nd–6th Grade Special Education
- Kimberly Taylor, 2nd Grade
- Kaicee Thomasson, 9th–12th Grade Math
- Brandi Willis, 5th Grade Science and Social Studies
- Braelyn Young, 4th Grade
2023 Bright Ideas Grant Recipients
Photos by Erin Powell