Proud Voter // Know Your Vote

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Proud Voter // Know Your Vote

Election season living in the South can be tough. We want to see progress for our neighborhoods, cities, counties and state. But sometimes it feels too slow and painful. We're doing two things to help make this November more exciting.

1. Proud Voter will use our $650 to help propel their efforts to get young Chattanoogans registered to vote. It's important. Did you know Tennessee is 40th in voter registration and 50th in voter turnout? The Proud Voter Campaign, is a non-partisan coalition of Tennesseeans, community groups and organizations supporting citizens through voter registration and voter participation initiatives. How exactly will we do it? Marketing. Buttons, flyers, tablecloths for the many events these volunteers already plan to attend before the upcoming election.

2. Know Your Vote will use our $2,350 to create and market an app, built by local tech powerhouse Skuid, to collate data and make possible the ability to compare candidates on key criteria to produce more informed CHA voters with the ease of their nearest tech device. Many voters in Hamilton County have a difficult time finding information on local candidates. We know we do. There is no centralized location with links to candidate websites and other sources, and traditional methods are reaching fewer younger voters.

 

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To Be a Drum: Adrinka Forever | Mario Brooks

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To Be a Drum: Adrinka Forever | Mario Brooks

Adrinka Forever! We are sponsoring a materials purchase for an arts integration after-school program at Orchard Knob Elementary School (OKES), with the Tech Town tutoring program, based on Evelyn Coleman's book To Be a Drum, about the journey and legacy of African Americans from the Transatlantic slave trade up to modern times.

Students will build djembe drums from household items and design garments all while learning about the symbolism of wax printed adrinka symbols. They will connect the history & sounds of African tribal music and how it has influenced the works of Kendrick Lamar, they will 3d print their own symbols for gifts to the ancestors, they will research prominent trailblazing black women, reflecting upon their accomplishments relative to their lives in writing their own narratives, & they will create their own theme music and a freedom quilt inspired banner.

A team of 5 artists with assistance from the staff of OKES will facilitate and are calling this performance Adrinka Forever, because classes are taking the rich history of not only African Americans but the symbolism and art of Ghana to forever positively influence underserved youth.

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Circulating Tool Library | Chattanooga Public Library

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Circulating Tool Library | Chattanooga Public Library

Thanks to Jaclyn Anderson and the driven leadership of the Downtown Chattanooga Library we will soon have the opportunity to borrow tools at NO COST to public library cardholders. Tools such as socket wrench sets, cordless drills (yeah, we’ve got SKIL), and power sanders!  The tool collection is being curated for Chattanoogans embarking on home renovation or community service projects, in which purchasing all the necessary tools for a one-time project may not be feasible.  Home repair and other DIY programs are on the horizon. The library plans on supplementing their collection with programming. Dang, we sure are proud of our public library here in #CHA.

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Free Kids Film + Sponsorship | Chattanooga Film Festival

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Free Kids Film + Sponsorship | Chattanooga Film Festival

We have watched the Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) evolve over the years with great delight. From the early days when we made a grant to support Mise En Scenesters and their sorely needed new projector, to current times being referred to as “The Sundance Of The South”.  

This year we’re stepping up to sponsor a script reading and also sponsoring a FREE KIDS FILM for all who care to join in our community.  Scripts Gone Wild: Flash Gordon will sell out again this year, and it's hilarious. Here's what's going to happen, an unsuspecting (or entirely suspecting) group of filmmakers will hold a script and a spirit while reading the science-fiction classic, Flash Gordon. Drunken debauchery you will want to witness.

This is the first year the festival will have a few kids films. We're making one of them free! From Directors Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner, THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES.  Teaser, a Fox that thinks it’s a chicken, and a Duck who wants to replace Father Christmas.  Playing Saturday, April 7th at 10 am. Reserve tickets now.

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Let's Marvel at Black Panther | Tyner Middle School

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Let's Marvel at Black Panther | Tyner Middle School

Let’s face it, enhancing a 7th-grade class curriculum with a major motion picture can be a LOT of fun.  Especially when all 145 kids get to go at once.  Tyner Middle School's racial diversity is made up of approximately 74% African American; 21% Hispanic; and 5% White/other. The film of Black Panther and its release is one of the most important blockbusters for all people, but most importantly for the students at Tyner!

Michelle Dunn, a teacher at Tyner Middle, developed a #BlackPantherChallenge curriculum that included pieces of research, texts, information, and analyzed them together through Socratic Seminars and small group discussions. Then, by going to see the Black Panther movie together as a community, every child was able to discuss the issues presented in the curriculum, make deeper connections within themselves, and each other. And don't forget, when children feel empowered by their own culture, race, beliefs, and history; we see a better well-rounded human, thus a better community. Our community.

Update: Due to discounted movie tickets and overall thriftiness, our $1,870 grant will have a larger impact. A Wrinkle in Time will be studied school-wide and a movie trip again!

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Shelter When Shelter Ends | Chattanooga Community Kitchen

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Shelter When Shelter Ends | Chattanooga Community Kitchen

Do you have a place to lay your head tonight? Over 600 Chattanoogans don't.  No person living in Chattanooga should go without a roof over their head, even if it is the thin roof of a tent with a tarp draped over it. Our $3,500 grant will provide 113 3 person tents with tarps and 500 ponchos to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.

The Cold Weather Warming Shelter housed at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen will end in mid-March as the weather warms. The shelter currently averages about 100 people per night. On extremely cold nights, as many as 150 people are looking for a way out of the elements. The goal is to provide a tent and a tarp to everyone who leaves the shelter in the spring so they aren't without any shelter. Done.

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Camp Wakawalu | Theresa Nix

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Camp Wakawalu | Theresa Nix

Theresa Nix runs Downside Up, a parent-directed non-profit providing support, education, and encouragement for parents, families, and others who love and care about people with Down Syndrome. Children are connected with the resources they need to grow and thrive. Our $2,500 grant will be used to make Camp Wakawalu free for all families who wish to attend. It will cover expenses like lodging at Camp Lookout, food, art, entertainment (Jennifer Daniels), & recreation for 150 campers May 4-6, 2018. 

Why fund this? Because uniting families who have loved ones with disabilities, creating more understanding in our community about the importance of inclusion, teaching PT and student teachers in our area who they will be helping someday when they graduate, and improving the lives of the families involved sounds like a win to us.

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Calvin Donaldson Library Extreme Makeover

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Calvin Donaldson Library Extreme Makeover

Selena Seymour is the librarian at Calvin Donaldson Elementary School. She has a vision to turn the urban elementary school library, in the heart of Alton Park, into a thriving beehive of excitement and innovation. Enter The UNFoundation. With a donation from Smart Furniture Studio and the rest coming from budget-friendly IKEA, the new, fun and collaborative furniture will make kids come alive in the library.  When their families come in for an open house, literacy and math nights, or just to visit - they will also feel comfortable and welcome in a space where everyone is equally brilliant together! During faculty meetings and planning sessions, the teachers will most certainly be more creative and happier if they are comfortable. 

Chattanooga struggles to make education and access to resources equitable across our great city. You've all heard Chattanooga 2.0, Unifi-ED and PEF Chattanooga talking about these issues. This is one step toward equity. The Alton Park community deserves a fun, creative space to meet, work, learn, and (of course) read!

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