14:49 PM

Perspective: Encouragement is Powerful

I’ve noticed recently when students graduate they’ll receive cards quoting Dr.Seuss’ classic book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”. One of the most cited quotes goes: “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so … get on your way!”

It’s a fitting sentiment to those young people entering a new phase in their lives– whether they’re starting new careers or continuing their education. I think it’s also a great word of encouragement for students starting a new school year. When it comes to starting school this year, we recognize things are going to be different for many students and teachers. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic means students and teachers are following safety guidelines that weren’t in place a year ago. That’s why we’re encouraging teachers to consider how they could use a Bright Ideas grant for projects in a digital environment.

We award Bright Ideas grants each year to middle school educators with an innovative idea that brings learning to life in their classrooms. Since 2015, we have awarded 206 Bright Ideas grants to middle school teachers totaling $279,494. As we start this school year, our Bright Ideas grant application process is open for middle school educators. We’re always excited to see the many creative ideas teachers submit to us in their Bright Ideas grant applications.

Over the years, we’ve seen some pretty innovative classroom projects to give students new opportunities to learn, including using state-of-the-art technology, like virtual reality and 3-D printing. Other educators have used their Bright Ideas grant funds to purchase supplies for projects focusing on horticulture, music or social studies. It’s always rewarding to see students engaging in these projects that would have been unfunded otherwise. As your local electric cooperative, Jackson EMC is honored to be a partner supporting our students, teachers and schools. We believe that empowering, encouraging and supporting young people is critical to making a better future for the community we serve.

Know an educator who may be interested in applying for a Bright Ideas grant? Let them know we’re accepting applications.Teachers have so many great ideas to provide a creative learning experience for their students. The Bright Ideas program is just one of the ways we can help educators take teaching and learning to a new level. You can learn more about Bright Ideas in this issue of JEMCO News.