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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Mindful School for Teachers and Students | Lakeside Academy

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Mindful School for Teachers and Students | Lakeside Academy

In elementary school, everyone had math, science, and reading.  But did you ever have a Mindfulness class?!  Well, the students of Lakeside Academy will this school year!  When we were approached by educators at Lakeside Academy wanting to partner with Chattanooga's Center for Mindful Living, we jumped at the opportunity.  

Mindfulness experts will visit Lakeside Academy once a week and teach the Mindful Schools curriculum to one teacher at each grade level K-5 for 13 weeks.  A trained mindfulness educator from the Center for Mindful Living will meet with the teachers and students in their classrooms, and introduce one mindfulness lesson at the beginning of the week. The teachers and students will practice the lesson for the remainder of the week. All students and teachers will benefit.

This curriculum has been taught to over 300,000 students in 50 states and is based on a well-researched MBSR program started at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is suggested that mindfulness training will help students and teachers enhance self-awareness, self-management, and expand the number of skills they have available for stress management. Mindfulness empowers better learning.

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Movie Nights | Highland Park Neighborhood Association

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Movie Nights | Highland Park Neighborhood Association

Highland Park Neighborhood Association hosts Movie Nights in Tatum Park all summer long. This year they are partnering with “Dialogues Chattanooga”, a local independent documentary project, made for lifting up community conversation about important topics for our city’s future. Dialogues producer Robert Ashton Winslow will screen at Movie Night on August 19th and together they will invite Highland Park residents to host additional “living room” screenings with friends and neighbors utilizing the documentary content to share stories, questions, and ideas. The end result? Neighbors of all walks of life coming together to build progress in their community.

Support from The UNFoundation included the donation of a commercial popcorn maker with supplies (from one of our trustees) and $500 to market the events and provide necessities like snacks,  and a place to pee.  

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Red Bank Elementary Lions' Wellness Den

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Red Bank Elementary Lions' Wellness Den

At Red Bank Elementary, a Title 1 school with about 700 students, Annette Longoria Adams' primary duty is serving students with behavioral issues. Trained in mindfulness, Annette is able to teach students how to be aware and in control of their bodies and actions. When they are more aware, they are better able to self-regulate, be responsive rather than reactive, and make better choices. Those skills help keep them from repeating inappropriate behaviors.

Enter The UNFoundation. Our $2,500 will help Annette transform an unused room into a therapeutic, safe and dedicated space with a variety of interactive equipment and tools that provide students with personalized sensory input. What does that mean? We're going to help her buy things like a Beginner Yoga Poses Poster, a Hike & Seek Fred Crawling Tunnel, and a SensaRock Sensory Rocker. With these tools students can reset with Annette and return to class more calm and focused so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.

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OKMS Maker Space

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OKMS Maker Space

Wow! Orchard Knob Middle School (OKMS) students will be welcomed back to school in August with halls filled with vibrant colors, new furniture, and loads of love and support from the local community. Thanks to the transformation that took place at the OKMS inaugural Beautification Week. A team of volunteers, contractors, artists  and organizers came together to tackle numerous projects throughout the campus in July.

Construction company, Tucker Build, and artists Rondell Crier & Brent Sanders teamed up to prep and refurbish an approximately 5000 square foot space that will be transformed from a storage and overflow area into a Multi-Purpose room that will be the prime location for numerous after school programs and a teacher collaboration room.

The Multi-Purpose room will include spaces for a conference area for collaborative work, a computer station, areas for small group or individual work as well as an exercise/dance area for after-school dance and yoga classes, Home Economics area (with brand new appliances donated by Lowes!), and a maker space. 

The team  received in-kind donations for plumbing, electrical, and general painting supplies, but needed additional funds in order to complete the various artistic elements and provide furnishings.

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Sensory Friendly Concerts with CSO

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Sensory Friendly Concerts with CSO

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s Sensory Friendly concerts feature performances by the String or Wind Ensembles in a space that allows for movement, interaction, or easy listening. Perfect for kids and families of all ages and abilities, these short performances feature themed programs with kid-friendly pieces, opportunities to meet the musicians and the instruments, and let kids (and parents!) experience the magic of music together!  Join us this season for one or all of our sensory friendly concerts in October, December, February, and April.  

We are excited to be partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to provide this sensory concert series at no cost to Chattanooga families.  

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