With the amount of budget cuts these days, most teachers could use some extra support in the classroom. On Thursday, many across the lowcountry got just that.
"Karen Hurst, congratulations," shouted Jimmy Baker with Palmetto Electric as he burst into Hurst's classroom at Cross School in Bluffton. "You're the winner of a Bright Ideas grant."
With balloons, a check and a gift bag in hand, the Bright Ideas patrol from Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Trust surprised dozens of teachers in their classrooms, giving out more than $34,000 in grant money to help fund innovative classroom projects.
"We have our students do the morning announcements so this is going to allow us to buy better equipment and a little bit better lighting to allow them to have an opportunity to show their talents," said Hurst.
"Try to get books for the kids to read in their hands. The kids are excited and they're reading so many books. We're running out so this is great," said Helen Goodman, Okatie Elementary teacher.
"That's what it's really all about, helping our teachers and our students receive materials and implement programs they wouldn't otherwise be able to do," said Baker.
This year, they're handing out 48 grants that they estimate will impact more than 8,000 students across Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.
These grants are funded through Operation Round Up, where customers round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar, and Palmetto Electric's Million Dollar Hole In One Shootout. Since they started the program, they've given out more than $300,000.
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