Inspired by the Causeway challenge about transforming public education, Battle Academy PTA wanted to host a Welcome Dinner. Their goal is to use the dinner as a first step in breaking down walls by allowing families to come together with educators over a simple meal to create an educational bond that will support better learning. Slated for August 17, 2016 alongside Kindergarten and First Grade Orientation, this event has the potential to reach 160 students, their caregivers, and indirectly our Chattanooga community.

So, what will happen exactly? In keeping with the theme of building connections, the key is to have food provided by a restaurant connected to the area, not just a corporate pizza chain. They’ve reached out to Miss Griffin’s Footlong Hotdogs, located on Main Street, to provide the main course and T and T Produce to provide healthy fruit and vegetable sides. During the evening, kids will work on a friendship mural together with the art teacher, Mrs. Bowling. Allowing the students to work together away from the parents, gives parents and teachers a time to meet each other, connect, and start building relationships. Joseph Schlabs, a local photographer has generously donated his services to be on site with a backdrop, lighting source, and professional camera doing studio style family photos which they will be able to download for free. The key is that all of this is FREE for the families. The PTA will also have a presence during the evening with opportunities for parents to sign up as a room parent, mentoring, and more.

Chattanooga 2.0 highlighted the need to create a community with parents, teachers, and kids. Battle Academy PTA decided to take action. The UNFoundation wanted to be a part of this critical piece of our education revitalization. After all, we fund cool ideas.

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