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Read the Chattanooga Times Free Press article online and see a gallery of photos by Tim Barber
Learn more about all of this year’s Teacherpreneur projects at teacherpreneurcha.com
by David Cobb
Kelsey Hunyh started her presentation at Sunday night’s Public Education Foundation Teacherpreneur pitch night by painting a picture of the bleak circumstances facing some of her students at East Side Elementary School.
“Imagine, you’re eating breakfast in the school cafeteria, you’re licking your bowl of oatmeal clean and you’re slurping your milk dry,” Hunyh said. “Your belly is still grumbling and your friend is throwing away his unopened milk and yogurt.
“All you want to do is grab that food, shove it in your backpack and take it home to your friends and family so they can eat it on the weekend.”
Hunyh said it’s a reality many of her students face each day: 25 percent of Hamilton County students have food insecurity and aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.
It’s why she is heading up the Helping Hands Ending Hunger initiative, which took top honors among 16 presentations made by Hamilton County teachers in front of a packed auditorium and a panel of judges at the Church on Main.
The night was a culmination of the annual Teacherpreneur incubator program that equips local teachers to develop business plans for educational initiatives that can help the county school system. Forty ideas were submitted, 16 were chosen as finalists and five teachers were awarded cash prizes, although all 16 ideas are still in position to receive funding through the program.
Helping Hands Ending Hunger is new to Hamilton County, but not to the area. Hunyh said during her presentation that Trion City Schools in Chattooga County, Ga., saved 12 tons of milk and food from going to waste in a single year.
The program collects unopened milk and food throughout the day at school to be saved and redistributed to students’ families at the end of the week.
“We’re hoping to be a pilot in order to start this program in other Hamilton County schools,” said Hunyh, who is entering her fifth year as a teacher in the system. “Just imagine if every school rescued milk and food and helped alleviate food insecurity in Chattanooga.”
School board Chairman Jonathan Welch said he hopes the program becomes a strong community partnership that begins to address some of the hunger issues facing children in the county.
The Helping Hands End Hunger initiative was one of several passionate presentations from teachers seeking backing for ideas that ranged from a program that helps student learn science through hip-hop music to a database for teachers to plan, research and review field trips.
It was the third year for the program, which is also sponsored by the Footprint Foundation, the Hamilton County Department of Education, the Benwood Foundation and CO.LAB.
“Who knows best what needs to happen? It’s people doing the job every single day,” PEF innovation and technology programs manager Geoff Millener said. “You can see from the few we were able to put on stage tonight the kind of innovative thinking that exists. Those ideas weren’t from one or two schools, they were from across Hamilton County.”
Contact staff writer David Cobb at email@example.com or 423-757-6249.
If you haven’t already registered to attend Pitch Night on Sunday, July 31 at 4 pm, there’s still time! Curious about Teacherpreneur? This video is for you:
Invite your friends through Facebook, share this post far and wide, and join us on Sunday evening. Pitch Night is a unique event that combine the entrepreneurial spirit of Chattanooga with the boundless optimism and creativity of our teachers.
Don’t forget that you can invest directly in this year’s projects with a gift through Causeway. Gifts of any amount are DOUBLED thanks to Footprint Foundation’s generosity.
Come listen on July 31st as Hamilton County’s most innovative teachers pitch their big ideas for public education. Starting at 4pm Teacherpreneurs, having spent the previous 48 hours honing their projects, will pitch in front of a panel of judges and our startup community (that’s you!) at the Church on Main. Admission is free, and there will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar – with two drink tickets provided with each purchase of a VIP ticket for $25. Audience members will also be able to vote online, awarding a $500 prize to the crowd favorite.
Teacherpreneur is an event unlike any other. Come out and cheer on these fantastic educators as they take the stage! Space is limited, so register today.
PEF has launched our first-ever crowdfunding campaign, and we need your help to reach our $5,000 goal. Give between now and July 31 to invest in the Teacherpreneur Incubator.
The teaching profession can be isolating, busy, and repetitive. The Teacherpreneur Incubator brings educators together with the community, gives them time, space, and support to develop big, innovative ideas for education, and keeps the job exciting and engaging by letting them explore new ways to enhance learning. We want the 2,000th day of teaching to be as exciting as the 2nd day of teaching. After two successful years, we’re ready for Teacherpreneur 3.0 to be the biggest yet. We need the support of a broader group of donors and public education advocates.
PEF and Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub are offering free professional development opportunities for all regional public school educators. All sessions are free, but require online registration.
The 3D printing series will provide attendees with an overview of using a Makerbot 3D printer. The workshop will also include practical classroom applications for easy implementation. Resources will also be provided for future 3D printing needs. The STEM Hub has several Makerbots available to check out for use in the classroom.
The Robotics in the Classroom Series prepares educators to integrate robotics in their classroom including LittleBits, Cubelets, Sphero, Ollie, and MOSS. Broken into grade level workshops, participants will learn about the highlights of the robotics available to check out through the STEM Hub. The workshop will also include practical classroom applications.
Questions or want to share your summer PD event? Contact Kate Skonberg by email or call 423.648.4444
Former Passport Scholars participants are invited to attend a celebration of 15 years of empowering young women of promise in Hamilton County. A reunion weekend is planned at Sewanee: The University of the South on July 16-17, 2016 – alumnae are encouraged to complete a short save-the-date form. Formal invitations will follow.
Thanks to the generosity of Passport Scholars founder Kitty Caldwell, accommodations and meals will be provided for Scholars, their partners and children throughout the weekend. Events include a family picnic and formal dinner on Saturday, as well as Sunday brunch. Enjoy the beautiful Sewanee campus while reconnecting with other Scholars, mentors, and program staff.
Due to limited space, this event is open to former Passport Scholars (not currently in high school), their spouses/partners and child[ren]. For questions, contact Stacy Lightfoot at 423-648-4443 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local documentarian Robert Ashton Winslow will premier first drafts from a special documentary series posing questions for Chattanooga’s future during special events in early 2016. After collecting interviews with community leaders during 2015, these events are open invitations for community members to help direct the next part of the documentary process. Southern Dialogues in Chattanooga seeks to elevate civic dialogue by opening up questions for public conversation in an experimental documentary process. Live Dialogues events will include screenings, interactive storyboards, informational resources, moderated discussion, and video confessionals.
PEF, UnifiEd, and Hamilton County Department of Education are partnering to screen Dialogues on Public Education on Thursday, February 4 beginning at 6 pm on Floor 5 of the Edney Innovation Center, 1100 Market Street. Details are available on Facebook.
The other themes of the documentary series include Building the Innovation Economy, Housing and Real Estate Development, Thrive 2055 and Regional Economic Development. At each screening event, invitations will be extended for community organizations to co-host more Dialogues events on a continuing basis in order to bring as many voices from the community into the project as possible.
As community institutions and public-private leadership rally for bold vision to tackle big challenges, these documentaries seek to elevate civic dialogue and serve as a resource for ongoing public engagement. All documentary content developed through the program will be ultimately uploaded as an interactive library of conversational video content for public benefit.
Southern Dialogues in Chattanooga is a no-budget creative project solely produced by Robert Ashton Winslow. The program in Chattanooga is now raising funds to engage local media-makers to assist the documentary production process.
Southern Dialogues is an independent documentary webseries by Chattanooga-native Robert Ashton Winslow using ordinary conversation to explore themes in civic life and the changing South. Past documentary topics have included the the growth of the film industry in Louisiana, the 2015 Civil Rights anniversaries in Alabama, the industrial footprint in Alabama as a window into the new American
manufacturing economy, and political advertising during the 2014 Kentucky Senate election.
Southern Dialogues in Chattanooga program during 2015 and 2016 has been hosted on the 4th Floor of the Downtown Public Library.
Visit SouthernDialogues.com/chattanooga for more.
Are you thinking about applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, but are still apprehensive? Have a great idea but a dozen questions about how to do so? RSVP online for Thursday’s Fund for Teachers information session at PEF. FFT Coordinator Leslie Graitcer will lead an interactive session on how to apply online, explain the timeline and grant process, and answer questions about the Fellowships.
Thursday, December 10
5:00 – 7:00 pm
PEF Leadership Center – 3rd Floor
100 East 10th Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that make the greatest impact on their practice, students and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has awarded 6,300 teachers $23.5 million in grants to visit 141 countries on all seven continents.
PEF is proud to be the local partner for Hamilton County Department of Education applicants. Fund for Teachers has awarded more than $379,000 to 104 Hamilton County teachers since 2012. For more on Fund for Teachers, email Leslie Graitcer or call 423-648-4446.
Charlene Cook (East Ridge Elementary) and colleague Claire Stockman (Red Bank Elementary) are the Teacherpreneurs behind Hamilton Sings!, a county-wide concert on Tuesday, November 10 featuring over 100 5th grade music students.
PEF’s Geoff Millener and Ms. Cook recently spoke to WDEF’s Joe Legge about the event:
Students will come together from all over our community for a day of rehearsal, with the experience culminating in a concert highlighting their talents, hard work and the arts. There will be a special performance by the Sweet Adelines, Chattanooga’s female barbershop singers. The public is encouraged to attend and donations will be accepted to support Hamilton Sings!
All-County Elementary Honor Choir
Tuesday, November 10 7:00 pm
First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave. (see a map)
Hamilton Sings! is a music learning and performance opportunity featuring students of Hamilton County Elementary Schools. This annual experience will provide a unique environment in which students will develop skills culminating in a dynamic musical performance. Participants will network with students from all Hamilton County elementary schools to create a community in harmony. Hamilton Sings! ignites the creative and artistic spirit that thrives in the Chattanooga area today in our youngest citizens.
PEF is hosting two events during Startup Week, and you’re invited! We think there’s a lot education can learn from the entrepreneurial spirit that has infused our community – and just as much Chattanooga’s entrepreneurs and startups can learn from our educators.
This Tuesday, October 13th from 5-6pm, we’re hosting a Teacherpreneur Showcase, highlighting the incubator and the innovative spirit of Hamilton County teachers. Featuring the debut of our Teacherpreneur film and a talk from PEF’s VP of Learning, Keri Randolph, you’ll have a chance to meet and mingle with our Teacherpreneurs! Join us at the Edney Innovation Building (16 11th St.), in the new community space on the 5th Floor. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
On Thursday, October 15th from 4.30-6pm, we’ve partnered with our friends at Mozilla for Entrepreneurship + Education: Chattanooga’s Next Big Thing? Featuring lightning talks from our own Keri Randolph, Daniel Ryan (founder of DRyan), Benwood’s Lori Quillen, Kara Gahagen of LAUNCH, Principal of the STEM School Tony Donen and Teacherpreneurs Lindsey Hagan and Patricia Russell, we’ll be having a frank and inclusive conversation about entrepreneurship and education in the Gig City. We’ll again be on the 5th floor of the Edney Building, in the heart of Chattanooga’s new Innovation District. (And light hors d’oeuvres will also be served.)
We hope you’ll be able to join us for our events – and be sure to check out the full schedule for more exciting events, from keynote speakers to evening socials, during Startup Week.
– PEF Teacherpreneur Team