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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Prison Yoga for Hamilton County Youth | Leah Bockert

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Prison Yoga for Hamilton County Youth | Leah Bockert

When a trauma certified yoga teacher with a big heart comes calling, we answer. Especially when it's to help kids. Her name is Leah Bockert.

The security for Hamilton County TN Juvenile Detention Center is classified as medium as its standards are created similar to maximum security without the tower structures. The building is solid concrete with limited access to fresh air, with heavy guard-to-inmate ratios. There are adjacent cage-like structures that inmates may use to get some limited exercise (basketball hoop and dip bars) for an hour every other day. Most of the time spent is in their pod or 2-man cells. Movements are strictly supervised.

Can you see how yoga might benefit kids living in this situation?  We sure can, and are providing the funding to launch Leah's program at the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.

Leah has compiled extensive evidence that shows how effective yoga programs are in addressing the harmful effects of trauma and the resultant behavioral issues that trauma can cause. This includes scientific research and government data as well as personal testimonies from inmates taught by teachers trained by the Prison Yoga Project. In addition to the positive impact on mental health, these types of programs have been shown to lower healthcare costs for the institutions, an incentive on their part to allow and support these programs.

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Fall Daycamp for Woodmore | Wauhatchie School

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Fall Daycamp for Woodmore | Wauhatchie School

The Wauhatchie School (wa-ha-chie) is a 501C3 nonprofit organization and nature based school promoting place-based, nature immersion experiences that foster holistic growth, the love of learning, and compassion for all. Wauhatchie School provides education for students and training for educators, facilitating students holistic development—body, mind and soul–and helps them grow into lifelong learners and compassionate stewards of the earth.

Back in November 2016, a terrible accident occurred involving a Woodmore Elementary School bus crash. Numerous children were badly injured. Tragically, some lost their lives. This experience left families shaken, some broken, and many with questions unanswered; a scar on our community still felt today. For many of the children at Woodmore, this experience meant the loss of close friends and others family. Many children still live in the wake of this incident. November 2017 will be the one-year anniversary of this trauma, a time experts recognize results in the reawakening of anxiety, panic, fears of the past experience.

In October 2017, Wauhatchie School is working with community partners to host an Arts and Outdoor based Day Camp for the Woodmore Elementary School students that teachers believe have been most affected the accident. Wauhatchie School will provide an adventurous weeklong outdoor day camp packed with art and water based activities, demonstrations, and games. Community partners will provide daily activities for students, facilitating a safe space for expression and learning of new skills. This will be a free gift to Woodmore students, providing the cost of camp, transportation, and all needed materials and gear.

The UNFoundation is honored to be able to play a small role in this effort by providing $800 for outdoor gear and materials that the Woodmore students will be able to use and take home. 

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Artist Residency Chattanooga | Aaron Cowan

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Artist Residency Chattanooga | Aaron Cowan

What’s more awesome than a thriving, diverse, educated arts community with free events all over the city that encourage cross-talk, creation, and innovative thinking?  We couldn’t think of many either, that’s why we decided to award $1,800 to Artist Residency Chattanooga this month. The arts are about more than making visually appealing artifacts; art is about seeing the world in new ways, creatively solving problems, and believing that anything is possible. ARC artists embody these ways of thinking and they are always looking for new avenues to provide the deepest and longest-lasting impact on our community.

UNFoundation grant dollars will be used to bring an ARC 2018 selected artist here: provide lodging, studio space, and a gallery for the month; advertising and marketing for lectures, workshops, open studios, and opening receptions; documentation by a local photographer of the work, events, and the resident's time here for a short documentary about the artist during the residency; and stipend to the artist for food and/or materials.

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