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For Immediate Release:

November 21, 2019

Media contact:
Maureen Moore
Communications Manager

EnergyUnited and Carolina Panthers Team Up to Award Bright Ideas Grant to Local Teacher

Under the guise of a career day presentation, EnergyUnited linemen Brian Thompson and Jon Upright joined Carolina Panthers players Greg Van Roten and Taylor Moton and team mascot Sir Purr to surprise Emily Warnke, a teacher at Winget Park Elementary in Charlotte, with a Bright Ideas Education Grant for her innovative classroom project entitled “Fueling Learning with Renewable Energy.”

“Electrical linemen have a very challenging job, but we always hear that these hard-working professionals enjoy each opportunity they have to deliver good news – which usually entails notifying others when power has been restored to a neighborhood or community,” said Maureen Moore, communications manager for EnergyUnited. “Today, two EnergyUnited linemen had a chance to deliver a surprise announcement that created a uniquely rewarding experience for so many people.”

The nearly $2,000 grant will go toward the purchase of renewable and alternative energy exploration kits, which will enable students to collaboratively discover renewable energy solutions that will be used to illuminate the Winget Park Elementary School sign. Students will ultimately present their recommendations to the school PTO board for funding to support the idea that comes as a result of their studies.

Through this Project Based Learning unit that incorporates science, social studies, literacy, problem solving and communication skills, current and future fourth grade students will explore how solar, wind and other sources of energy are used to power everyday items.

The Bright Ideas program is just one example of the electric cooperatives’ commitment to community. In addition to supporting local communities, North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives power the lives of more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.

About Bright Ideas

For 25 years, the Bright Ideas education grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, has helped improve education by awarding funding to K-12 teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects that would not otherwise be funded. Since it was created it 1994, the program has awarded more than $12.2 million for more than 11,700 projects, touching the lives of more than 2.3 million students statewide. Across the state, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have awarded approximately $600,000 this month to North Carolina educators to fund about 600 projects.

Emily Warne with EnergyUnited Linemen and Carolina Panthers Linemen

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