All students are in need of enrichment in the general education setting each day, but teachers aren't equipped to provide this kind of enrichment for them. Gifted on the Go is a backpack full of lessons that gives the students a choice of 11 lessons per 9 weeks to work on independently after their classwork has been completed.
What Neighbors Give is a non-profit online bookstore that receives donations of books and sells them on Amazon. All of the proceeds go to fund literacy programs throughout Chattanooga.
School Without Walls is a website that allows teachers to quickly and easily find field trips or learning expeditions that are appropriate for their grade level and standards. This is a resource to teachers, who have in recent years had to do the hard work of putting together field trips. Since teachers are busy people, this means that kids don't go on as many enriching out-of-school trips. School Without Walls simplifies the process for teachers by creating field trip packages and streamlining planning and details.
Unity purposefully brings together different segments of the community into a weekend-long large group experience that helps to break through individual beliefs, mindsets, and cultural barriers. The program helps brings people together through their common humanity and includes stress-reduction activities for people in high-stress careers.
Becoming SHARPE seeks to foster success among minority youth by incorporating innovative programs through two key components: educational enhancement and basic life skills training. Providing innovative programs that provide educational and life enrichment skills, Becoming SHARPE’s focus is on personal, educational and professional development. They enrolled in Co.Starters for help with a business plan and the basics about how to properly operate as a nonprofit.
In order to improve their reading skills, children need books at home. Many children in schools (inner city specifically) do not have access to books when they leave the school building. And many schools cannot afford to allow students to take books home. Homebound is a project to collect books, buy bookshelves from thrift stores, fill bookshelves, and place them in local Chattanooga schools. This bookshelf will be accessible and inviting, with no restrictions or fees associated with borrowing the books. A "take a book, leave a book," system, Homebound seeks to make book borrowing less complicated so that kids always have a read-at-home option. Co.Starters was an opportunity for Homebound to test the idea on peer entrepreneurs and learn from their input.
River City Kites started in 1992, using the beauty, elegance, and craftsmanship of kites as a point of connection between students and members of spiritual communities by selling kites and facilitating kite workshops. Since 1992, they have worked with thousands of kids and adults, incorporating kite making or the use of kites in Math, Art, Spanish, English, and Science classes as well as church conferences. River City Kites applied to Co.Starter's for help with business concepts like Human Resources, Budgeting & Accounting, Legal Considerations, Community Outreach and to meet other social entrepreneurs.
Caring for Chattanooga's Caregivers (C4CC) seeks to care for those in the field of mental health. The people often hired to work with individuals with serious mental health (SMI) and intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDD) do not have the support that they need to sustain their professional roles. They have higher burnout rates than other health professionals due to the nature of their work. C4CC wants to organize a health education program that fills this gap, as a nonprofit program, through cross-sector collaboration.
The Wauhatchie School is a nonprofit organization that provides place-based, nature immersion education for students and training for educators. This educational model facilitates students holistic development—body, mind and soul–and helps them grow into life-long learners and compassionate stewards of the earth. The Wauhatchie School serves Pre-Schoolers, Home School groups, Summer Campers, and the Community through public workshops and Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training. Having doubled the number of students and groups they serve, they realized that one basic element stood in the way of continued growth for their educational programs: a sustainable restroom--specifically two Sun-Mar Excel NE composting toilets--that can accommodate the needs of their guests. With these restrooms, the Wauhatchie School can expand their programs knowing students can enjoy the unique learning opportunities available to them in Lookout Valley. And yes, there's definitely a pun here about "nature's call".
Art programs are a particularly underfunded and dwindling resource in public schools, but Hamilton County music teachers have created a solution to that problem which encourages that spark of artistic creativity in students. Hamilton Sings! is a once-in-a-lifetime music-making opportunity uniting 5th grade students from every elementary school in Hamilton County. Students in Chattanooga and Hamilton County rarely get to meet children their age who live in communities other than their own, so by participating in Hamilton Sings!, students will not only get to meet one another, but collaborate with students whom they may never have had the chance to know otherwise. The aim of this event is to build empathy, form bonds, and foster understanding in our community, creating a lasting impact. Hamilton Sings! is offered at no cost so as to keep it open and available to every student. It involves singing, dancing, and drumming, and on the day of the event, the students collaborate on a musical project which then culminates in a public concert.
Project Leaders: Jennifer Whalen
Neighborhood/School: Orchard Knob
The Back to School Bash will bring together school staff, parents, students and community members to plan and host a back to school block party at Orchard Knob Middle School. In addition to providing school supplies and a chance to socialize, the party will help parents take ownership of their child’s education and open the door to longer lasting relationships between all members of the Highland Park community, including students, parents, community members and teachers.
Project Leaders: Barking Legs Theater
Neighborhood/School: Highland Park
Parents and Pre-K students in the Highland Park area will have the opportunity to gather at the Blooming Pot Daycare one night a week after school and work in August/September to engage in a series arts and culture workshops. Taught by members of Barking Legs Theatre’s Full Circle Teaching Artists program, the workshops will providing fun opportunities for parents and children to create and problem-solve together, sowing seeds to create more arts education opportunities for our community.
Project Leader: Nicholas Goebeler
Neighborhood/School: Eastside Elementary + Ferger Place
The Ferger Place Neighborhood Association will connect with students and families at their neighborhood school, Eastside Elementary, through a reading program and community event based on Dr. Seuss’s book, The Lorax. Kindergarten families at East Side Elementary School will be given a personal copy of the book to read over the summer. In the fall, these families will celebrate their reading achievement through a neighborhood-wide party that brings the book to life through an outdoor showing of the movie and tree-planting activities to reinforce the book’s environmental themes.
Project Leaders: Becky Cox and Stacey Barton
Neighborhood/School: Red Bank School District
Led by two kindergarten teachers who understand that the earliest years of childhood education are critical for later success, this program focuses on successfully preparing children ages 3-5 for kindergarten at Red Bank Elementary. Kindergarten Readiness will reach out to parents in the Red Bank school zone through a text messaging subscription that offers practical tips to help parents prepare their children for school through everyday activities. They will also hold inviting and accessible monthly meetings to strengthen relationships between parents and the school.
Project Leaders: Melissa Jo Brassel and 22:6 Teen Moms Club
Scholars of Tomorrow is a parent “boot camp” aiming to equip teen moms with practical strategies for jump-starting their children’s education at home. This training program will equip a group of young moms to become more engaged in their child’s learning development, while also helping them connect as a partner with their child’s school. Through a series of interactive sessions, this group will cover topics such as early childhood development and education, literacy, school and teacher expectations, parent resources, and skills for effective parent-teacher communication.
Project Leader: Joyce Hardaway
Neighborhood/School: Hardy Elementary + Glass Street
This group is re-imagining Friday nights as an opportunity to strengthen family bonds, engage parents and children together, and improve the community. Students and parents from Hardy Elementary and the surrounding neighborhood will come together for nights full of fun activities including student performances, board games, gardening, and exercises designed to promote parents and children learning together. Each week a free, healthy dinner partially sourced from the community garden will be served while parents receive educational strategies to help their children, reminding them that opportunities to learn can easily be found outside the classroom.
Project Leaders: Luronda Jennings and Jean-Marie Lawrence
Neighborhood/School: County Wide
Every parent wants his or her child to be able to learn in an environment that embraces their individual learning styles, and leads that child to a more confident, efficient and productive life. For parents of children with a disability, that kind of environment can be hard to find. Through Journey Educational Services, RightsNow is a series of interactive workshops that will help parents understand and navigate the complex systems and laws surrounding disability regulations in schools so that they can become more confident advocates for their children with disabilities.
Project Leader: Katie Smith
Neighborhood/School: County Wide
Modeled after the Memphis School Guide, The Chattanooga School Guide will be a one-stop online resource to help families understand all of their options when deciding where to send their child to school. By pulling together important academic data, personal insights from teachers and students, and enrollment information, the Chattanooga School Guide hopes to paint a holistic picture of what makes a good school, and help local parents decide on the best fit for their kids.
Project Leaders: Katie Neil, Kathy Cooley, and Erin Hayden
Neighborhood/School: Harrison Elementary
Through a 1:1 device program already in place, all 3rd graders at Harrison Elementary receive an iPad to use at school and home to increase learning opportunities. This team of teachers will offer training to parents so that they feel comfortable and competent with the devices that will be sent home with their child during the school year. The training will not only equip parents to help their children learn more at home, it will also offer direct access to the internet and online school resources to families that may not have had that point of connection in the past.
Project Leader: Rebekah Griggs
Neighborhood/School: East Lake Elementary
Through hosting potluck dinner parties at the school, this group hopes to start a movement of parents reading aloud to their children every day for 20 minutes. Books Over Dinner will also create a welcoming environment at the school for many of East Lake’s Latino families (45% of their students) to boost the confidence of parents learning English and to teach the importance of reading aloud in their native language. Families will walk away with bilingual books and tools to help them create reading habits at home that will boost their students’ literacy levels and overall school performance.