District Five teachers receive “Bright Ideas” grants

Several Lexington-Richland School District Five classrooms will soon benefit from grants provided by the
Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative (MCEC). The Cooperative’s annual Bright Ideas program grants provide funding
to teachers who have demonstrated innovative ideas for classroom projects. School District Five received more
than $10,000 in grants.
School District Five grant recipients include: April Beale (Dutch Fork Middle), Amy Collins (Piney Woods
Elementary), Anna Gunn (Oak Pointe Elementary), Amanda Hill (Oak Pointe Elementary), Maya Hoffman
(Ballentine Elementary), Parker Hollister (Oak Pointe Elementary), Brian Mincel (Piney Woods Elementary),
Martie Newmyer (Piney Woods Elementary), Wendy Rauch (Chapin High), Janet Roberts Crump (FIVE), Aymer
Rojas (Ballentine Elementary), and Tina Staub (Ballentine Elementary). The grants will support a variety of
projects that support students.

Teachers receiving this year’s grants were surprised by the “Bright Ideas Grant Patrol,” who traveled to their
schools to bring their awards. Piney Woods Elementary School third grade teacher Martie Newmyer says the
$1000 grant she received will allow her to buy books for her book clubs.
“I am excited to give my students an opportunity to grow as readers,” Newmyer said. “Additionally, giving the
students the opportunity to work cooperatively and grow in their thinking and interaction with each other.”
For fifth grade students in the Flexible Innovative Virtual Education (FIVE) program, a grant will allow their
teacher to purchase a harmonica for all students

“This is my second year teaching music in FIVE and although we tried to play spoons last year, I was dismayed
that not all students were able to find spoons and be able to play with me,” said fifth grade teacher Dr. Janet
Roberts. “I determined that if we wanted to play an instrument together, I would need to find a way to provide
that instrument to the students. The district had already agreed to provide recorders for grades three and four
and I decided the best thing to do would be to write a grant for harmonicas for grade five. I truly appreciate
MCEC’s commitment to local education and their willingness to see the value in music education in particular!”

This year’s awards mark the 17th annual Bright Ideas program recognition. Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative gave
approximately $20,000 in grants to teachers in several districts this year.
MCEC’s Public Relations and Bright Ideas Coordinator Lacy Ridgell said, “We were thrilled to award 23 local
educators with grants of up to $1,000 each to help power their creativity both in and outside the traditional
classroom setting. We know that now more than ever, students and teachers alike need this support and we
appreciate all their hard work and dedication.”