Johnson earns ‘Bright Ideas’ grant

Diane Johnson and life skills student Austin Gray work in the Panther Perks school based coffee shop. Johnson will receive a Bright Ideas grant to supply the coffee shop.

Diane Johnson, life skills teacher at North Johnston High School, has been awarded a “Bright Ideas” grant from Wake Electric for her classroom project called “Panther Perks on the Go!”

“Panther Perks, which began five years ago, is a school-based coffee shop for faculty and staff wherein the staff comes to our room to purchase coffee and snack items,” said Johnson. “It has brought awareness to staff of students with special needs and this grant will allow ‘Panther Perks on the Go!’ to purchase additional supplies and other items.

“The staff will benefit,” added Johnson, “but this will give the students the opportunity to be where the action is.“ It was the logical next step.”

In the grant application, Johnson said the grant funds would be used to purchase equipment and inventory, to enable students to create a mobile shop to increase sales, improve vocational skills, assist with staff morale and promote student and teacher relationships with the school setting.

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