HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - This week, Coastal Electric Cooperative employees, camera crews, and school administrators burst into 12 local classrooms in Bryan, Liberty, and McIntosh counties with a big surprise.
It was a big surprise for teacher Cherie Boyd from Snelson Golden Middle School in Hinesville. In August, teachers applied for Bright Ideas grants to fund special classroom projects, and this week, winners received checks of up to $2,000 each to see those bright ideas become a reality. The money Boyd won on Friday will help provide training in conflict resolution to middle school students in a series of after-school sessions.
"One of the hardest times in a kid's life is to be a child not just allowed to be a child, despite what they see on reality tv and social media, we can tell them that's not the only reality there is. There are people that love them and want them to have wonderful lives, and I want to help make that happen," Boyd said.
Boyd has watched social media destroy young peoples' self-esteem.
"It's one of the hardest times in a kid's life to be a child. They're just not allowed to be kids," she said.
Severe bullying caused a 12-year-old student to commit suicide at the Hinesville school last week. Boyd's application proposes a program that might prevent this from happening in the future.
"There are people who love them and want them to have wonderful lives, and I want to help make that happen," Boyd said.
She says children get caught up in the "now."
"I want to give them what they need so they can make good choices because life gets much better."
Eleven other teachers also awarded money to fund beneficial and original problems.
"They need no inspiration from us. The teachers just take it and run with it and they amaze us every year," said Bethany Akridge, Coastal Electric Cooperative.
A course that really stuck out to them - life skills.
"How to tip a waiter or waitress, how to make a budget, how to dress appropriately for a job interview, how to be organized, how to wash dishes," Akridge said.
All 12 teachers are on a mission for how to make being a kid the best it can be.