2022 Bright Ideas Grant Award Winners

Coweta-Fayette EMC announces Bright Ideas Grant Recipients, awards $29,926.33 to local educators on behalf of Operation Round Up

Thomas Crossroads Elementary School – Christy Jennings

PALMETTO, GA, November 11, 2022 – Coweta-Fayette EMC awarded $29,926.33 in Bright Ideas Grants to 24 deserving teachers across Coweta County Schools, Fayette County Schools, and Heard County Schools.

Earlier this year, several local teachers submitted Bright Idea Grant applications to assist with innovative classroom projects, and 24 were selected as grant recipients. Grants were approved by the Coweta-Fayette Trust Board.

Blaire Thrasher, Engineering and Technology Teacher at East Coweta Middle School, was excited to receive a grant for her project, “Ready, Set, Spike!”.

“Our students are learning about computer science and programming, and they’re moving forward with programming robots right now,” said Thrasher. “We are so lucky to receive this grant for the robotics kits and we’re excited to start this in our classes. Thank you so much for the Bright Ideas Grant!” said Thrasher.

The project is designed to allow students to use their knowledge of coding learned in both computer science and in engineering and technology class and apply it in hands-on problem-solving activities. Students will design, build, and program a robot to complete obstacle courses designed to mimic real-world obstacles. The grant will assist in the funding of the robotics kits.

Tanya Fairbanks, 3rd Grade Teacher at Fayetteville Elementary School, couldn’t wait to begin teaching her students about growth and leadership through her project, “Planting Leaders”.

“Receiving a Bright Ideas Award has made my whole year,” said Fairbanks. “This will help us ensure that our students become leaders not only in the school but also within the community. Through growing plants together, not only are the students taking leadership roles, but they’re also learning where food comes from, what is healthy for their bodies and ultimately how to become their best self!” said Fairbanks.

The project will allow students to discover and practice leadership skills through the growth of hydroponic plants. This indoor gardening area will serve as a collaborative space inside our school for growing leaders, as well as plants to be used in classrooms and the school cafeteria. This will help students not only learn the process of plant growth but also facilitate the school’s leadership curriculum through students having responsibilities to themselves, each other, and the environment. The older students will then work with younger students to teach them perseverance, dedication, and responsibility. The grant will assist with the funding of a hydroponics system and a garden kit with vegetable seeds.

Tracey Hunt, 4th & 5th Grade Math Teacher at Centralhatchee Elementary School, was eager to bring her vision to life when she received a grant for her project, “Math Through Literature”.

“With my project, I want to combine literacy and mathematics. By bringing books into my math classroom, it will let the kids see that math is used in our everyday world,” said Hunt. “I’m so excited for this awesome opportunity. Thank y’all so much,” said Hunt.

The objective of the project is to implement hands-on math with grades 3-5, with the intention of building a strong mathematical foundation for all students because research indicates a strong correlation between successfully learning mathematical content by listening to and interacting with mathematical stories. The goal is to bridge the gap between literacy and mathematics and provide meaningful math context to students.

Bright Ideas is funded by Operation Round-Up®. Coweta-Fayette EMC’s Operation Round Up Foundation celebrated 27 years in 2020, and since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $6 million in assistance to those in need within our local communities. Operation Round Up could not be successful without with willingness of our members/owners that participate. Sign up for Operation Round Up by visiting https://utility.org/operation-round-up-purpose/.

The 2023 B.I.G. applications will become available in May 2023. For questions, please contact Megan Phillips at 678-630-6680 or brightideas@utility.org.

Founded in 1993, Operation Found Up offers Coweta-Fayette EMC members the opportunity to “round up” their bill to the next highest dollar amount, with the difference being contributed to a fund which is awarded to various individuals and organizations in need.


Congratulations to the following 2022 Bright Ideas Grant (BIG) award winners!

Coweta County Schools

Blake Bass Middle School – Kelsey Armstrong and Lisa Holland

East Coweta Middle School – Julie Eidson, Tonya Isabell, and Blaire Thrasher

Lee Middle School – Adriana Cantwell

Madras Middle School – Kathryn Lake

Moreland Elementary School – Pamela Smith

Poplar Road Elementary School – Faith Wheeler

Ruth Hill Elementary School – Mary Thompson

Thomas Crossroads Elementary School – Christy Jennings

Western Elementary School – Ciara Johnson

White Oak Elementary School – Paula Corley

Fayette County Schools

Fayetteville Elementary School -Tanya Fairbanks and Joanna Johnson

Kedron Elementary School – Kori Perez and Angie Thompson

McIntosh High School – Seth Bishop

Sandy Creek High School – Christina Bryant and Jill Lloyd

Starr’s Mill High School – Melissa Beaulieu

The Foundry Academy School – Dan McCully

Whitewater Middle School – Susan Boyd

Heard County Schools

Centralhatchee Elementary School  – Tracey Hunt

Account Services

Manage and pay your account online
Pay My BillReport An Outage