Archive for the ‘Community Events’ Category

MBD: Girl Edition seeks high school applicants for 24Hour Generator

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

We are looking for young women interested in participating in the third annual 24Hour Generator, a reverse-pitch competition open to high school girls from across the Tennessee Valley and co-hosted by PEF, CO.LAB and GPS. The event will take place March 11.

Please share the flyer and application with students who spring to mind, or recommend them using the same application form.

The 24Hour Generator can be a great opportunity for students who break, rather than fit, the traditional mold – we’re not just looking for the class presidents or the valedictorians, but instead for girls who may have yet to find their passion. Here are a set of profiles to illustrate types of students who may make especially good candidates.

Some quick details, with more information available at

  • Applications are open to female high school students, grades 9 through 12, whether home-schooled, publicly or privately educated. We have 50 spots available in this year’s event; applications will close February 20th.
  • Local businesses and startups present challenges to teams of students; these teams then work with business leaders and mentors to develop a unique solution and pitch over the following 24 hours.
  • Teams will present their ideas to the public and a panel of judges, for prizes and recognition, at Mad, Bad and Dangerous: Girl Edition on March 11th.  The final pitch event will be open to the public, so families, friends and teachers are welcome to attend and cheer on their students.
  • Our sponsors graciously cover the costs of attendance, meals and transportation for all participants.
  • The Generator is an all-nighter, with female chaperones and security.
  • Participating students have received internships from the companies with whom they’ve worked, and we’ve seen friendships blossom. It’s a great opportunity for shier, creative talents and out-of-the-box thinkers!
  • Participants and their families will all be invited to a VIP reception with community and entrepreneurial leaders after their event.

Questions? Contact PEF’s Geoff Millener (423.648.4448 or

Final FFT workshop offered Jan. 10

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Join us for a final workshop and information session before applications are due on January 31. This will be particularly useful to those who have started writing their applications and have specific questions, but is open to all. Please share this with your networks!

Tuesday, January 10 at 4:30 PM

PEF Leadership Center
100 East 10th Street, 3rd floor
Chattanooga, TN 37402

This event is free, but you must RSVP to Joni Martin via email. She will send parking information when you register.

Fund for Teachers application workshop

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Join us at PEF to work on your application for 2017 Fund for Teachers fellowships on Tuesday, December 13. Stuck on a particular section, or confused about what’s allowed and not? Bring your work so far and lots of questions – Leslie Graitcer will walk you through the process.

RSVP online to this free event beginning at 4:30 pm in our 3rd floor Leadership Center.



From the TFP: Pitch night showcases Hamilton County teachers’ entrepreneurial ideas

Monday, August 1st, 2016

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

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.

Kelsey Hunyh pitch night

It worked.

“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 or 423-757-6249.

Pitch Night tickets available – register today

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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.

Don’t miss this year’s Teacherpreneur Pitch Night

Monday, July 18th, 2016

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 3.0 Pitch Night Flyer TKYqHbZOyMNDsC-cGz4U3OrY5245BxRBm2h3fLFd4YA cO_B-5G46W6tOb4OybOoy9Dq0FJWlvF7jOLHeFY4Fs4

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.

Teacherpreneur Incubator crowdfunding campaign launches, runs through July 31

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

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.

How does it work? Educators who are selected for the Incubator work all summer to develop their plans. Some are for-profit businesses, some are classroom projects, and others are community engagements and one-time events. From July 29-31, a 48-hour launch will give teachers access to professionals – lawyers, designers, programmers, and marketing professionals – to refine their ideas and pitches. On Pitch Night, each Teacherpreneur will present her idea to a live (and virtual through streaming!) audience. Pitches are judged by a community panel and winning ideas get up to $10,000. Other prizes and awards are given to help teachers bring their ideas to life.
By giving through our Causeway campaign, you’re investing in teachers, recognizing them as creative and dynamic professionals, and showing concrete financial support for public education. Thanks!

Alumnae invited: Passport Scholars Reunion

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

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


Dialogues on Public Education documentary screening Feb 4

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

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 for more.

Fund for Teachers grant info session Dec 10

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

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
RSVP here

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.