Archive for the ‘Community Events’ Category

Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch this weekend

Monday, July 28th, 2014

There’s only one weekend left before the school year begins for Hamilton County teachers. Just 48 hours to spend with family, put the finishing touches on school-year preparation, or squeeze in one last trip before a busy year kicks off.

But over 40 Hamilton County teachers will spend their last weekend doing something completely different and completely Chattanooga. PEF, Benwood and HCDE in collaboration with CO.LAB will host the first Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch on August 1-3. The Hamilton County teachers and their teams will gather during the weekend at Society of Work to develop short pitches for their innovative education ideas.

The culminating Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch Pitch Event, which will showcase these innovative pitches, will be Sunday, August 3 at 4 p.m. ET at Church on Main (1601 Rossville Ave). A group of judges will award funding and resources to many of the teachers with ideas that are innovative, impactful and feasible.

The Teacherpreneur Incubator is designed to provide support, time and space for teachers to incubate big ideas and execute them in the best interests of both their students, their profession and our community.  Too often teachers who want to be leaders feel like they only have one choice – go into school administration and leave the classroom behind. In this first-of-its-kind Incubator, motivated teachers will expand their reach beyond the classroom by leading a change in their school and the community.

After submitting innovative proposals early in the summer, over 20 teachers were selected to participate in the Teacherpreneur  Incubator. These teachers met multiple times throughout the summer to prepare for the 48HR Launch weekend.

No two ideas are exactly alike. They range from  a kite-based math and science curriculum to a MakerSpace in a school library to innovative apps. The teachers and their teams – made up of mentors from local businesses, community members and fellow teachers – will spend all weekend honing their pitches before Sunday evening’s pitch night. During the weekend, workshops will be held on public speaking, budgeting, starting a business, and more.

Teachers will receive some funding but, more importantly, they will also be paired with a team of community members and local experts to help them get their ideas off the ground. These teacher leaders are cultivating authentic ties to the community to create deeper learning opportunities for their students. They are taking advantage of Chattanooga’s unique technology tools and resources to personalize learning and share their experiences with others.

Entrepreneurs transform challenges into business opportunities. Teacherpreneurs will do the same for our schools. If you are interested in getting involved by mentoring, joining a team, supporting the 48Hour Launch weekend, please contact Keri Randolph at or 423-668-2426.  To support the teacherpreneurs by attending the 48HR Launch Pitch Night on Sunday at 4 p.m., please sign up at

- Lauren Deason, STEM Program Associate

Developing Developers – STEM over the summer

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

PEF and the STEM Hub are excited to partner with DEV DEV: Summer of Code.  Check out this great interview with Elena Hatch and then sign up!

Watch the video below for more about DEV DEV.

DEVDEV from colt helton on Vimeo.

Service learning for students subject of next College Knowledge lunch workshop

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Join us for the next College Knowledge lunch break on Thursday, April 24 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. PEF Volunteer Coordinator Kate Skonberg will help participants learn how strategic volunteering can help students set themselves apart from the crowd.  It’s a competitive world, but through volunteering, students can gain valuable job skills, become eligible for scholarships, build career networks, and grow as a person.  Attendees will learn specific ways to find service learning and volunteer opportunities in Chattanooga and techniques toward maximizing each opportunity.

Register online today; a buffet lunch is available for $5 with advance registration only.

Public Education Night at the Lookouts May 3

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Download a flyer to share and share our Facebook event far and wide!

PEF is partnering with the Lookouts to host Public Education Night at the ballpark on Saturday, May 3 at 7:15 p.m. General admission tickets are only $5; for every ticket sold, PEF keeps $2 and after the ticket is scanned at the entry gate, we receive another $0.50. Kids 6 and under are FREE!

We need your help to publicize this fun night to family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else in your networks. May 3 is the end of TCAP week – a night at the ballpark is a great way for teachers to recognize their students’ hard work. Businesses are encouraged to purchase tickets for their employees or donate a set to their favorite school or class.

Please call 668.2430 or email me for tickets and more details. See you at the ballpark!

- Shannon Edmondson, Development & Communications Officer

Spring College Knowledge series continues

Friday, January 31st, 2014

For many, the road to college seems confusing, intimidating, overwhelming and costly. Have no fear! PEF is here to help with our College Knowledge Lunch Breaks.

These FREE monthly sessions from noon to 1 pm offer knowledge about college to adults who work with or advise students on their journey to post-secondary education (parents, guardians, mentors, coaches, counselors, etc.).

Topics include:

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills
  • Thursday, March 13, 2014 - ACT/SAT: That is the Question
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 - The Importance of Volunteering
  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - Support Students with Disabilities
  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - Parents, You Are Now A Passenger

Register online for these sessions – we can provide lunch for $5 or you may bring your own.  For more information, contact Stacy Lightfoot, Vice President of College & Career Success by email or 423-648-4443.

We’d love your help advertising these events; download a copy of the College Knowledge Flyer to distribute. 

College Knowledge workshop series continues with Financial Aid 101

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

A new year means new opportunities to learn! Our FREE College Knowledge lunch breaks resume at noon on Thursday, January 16 with Financial Aid 101.

Applying for financial aid is a very important step for many students. There is no escaping the fact that college costs are rising. Financial aid is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college costs. More than half of the students currently enrolled in college receive some sort of financial aid to help pay college costs.

At this hour-long workshop, you’ll learn how the financial aid system works and how it can bridge the gap between what families can afford and the rising costs of college.

Rebecca Smith from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is the guest presenter and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this session for parents, advisors, counselors, and anyone wishing to support students as they plan for post-secondary education.

As always, you can reserve a lunch for $5 or bring your own.  Register online today to reserve your space!

- Stacy Lightfoot, Vice President of College and Career Success

Free conference on Jan 25: College Goal Tennessee 2014

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Join us for a FREE conference - “College Goal Tennessee 2014: Engineering Your Success

January 25th from 9:00am-1:00pm (registration opens at 8:30)
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - University Center
E. 5th Street    Chattanooga, TN 37403

Register at

College Goal Tennessee 2014: Engineering Your Success is a free half-day conference (lunch provided), providing beneficial topics on financial literacy, choosing the right major, managing anxiety in college, social and emotional barriers to academic success, trends in college admissions and others. This conference is geared for high school students, college students, parents and educators (teachers, school counselors and advisors) and will confront real topics that affect the persistence of students in college.

At this conference, as part of College Goal Tennessee, free on-site assistance to file the Free Application For Student Aid (or FAFSA, required for all federal and state aid recipients) for high school seniors and current college students will be available (conference attendance is not required for FAFSA assistance).

Download a copy of the conference schedule

Sponsored by PEF, UTC, Young and Wiser, Inc., & SACAC

Download a PDF copy of the flyer below to share

College Going Saturday 2014 flyer

Celebrating transformation at Hillcrest Elementary

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

One of the great joys in my job is helping schools celebrate transformations in their building as a result of philanthropic investment. Today, Hillcrest Elementary hosted a press conference and tours of brand-new libraries in every classroom in the school.  The Book Nooks are filled with over 13,000 books, colorful lamps, comfy seating areas and relaxing pillows and beanbags, all designed to give every child the opportunity to read books of their choice in a setting that encourages a love of reading.

After some moving remarks from Principal Angelia Askins about what these libraries will mean for her students, PEF President Dan Challener described the gift that made them possible.  The Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children was established to infuse resources for the direct benefit of children into the nation’s most economically challenged schools.  Mrs. Annenberg, a renowned philanthropist and dedicated public servant, wished for the Fund to “help children shine brightly.”  Hillcrest was awarded $100,000 for the establishment of Book Nooks in their building, joining Hardy, Clifton Hills, Rivermont, Calvin Donaldson, and Brown Academy as schools enriched by the generosity of The Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children.

Superintendent Rick Smith congratulated the faculty and staff of Hillcrest on their vision for the project, which demonstrates the passion Hamilton County educators have for their craft and their students.  Finally, two students served as tour guides through fifth and first grade classrooms – see them through the photos below.

Hillcrest Book Nook DedicationIMG_4522



Congratulations to the entire Hillcrest family!

- Shannon Edmondson, Development & Communications Officer



October 29th College Knowledge Lunch Break

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

On Tuesday, Oct. 29th from 12pm-1pm, PEF will host a October College Knowledge Lunch Break on “What Colleges are Looking for in Applicants.” This session will be fun and interactive: there will be a case study simulation where participants are guided through an admissions scenario and provided the opportunity to review applicant files and collectively make decisions on their status. The Case Studies model is replicated across the country for parents and counselors to get a true understanding of the admission process and how challenging and multifaceted the process is.

 Come join us (and bring a friend).  Lunch is available for $5 – register online today!

- Stacy Lightfoot, Vice President of College and Career Success

college knowledge

Empowering Males for Success “Men of Color” Conference June 19

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

PEF’s Empowering Males for Success “Men of Color” Conference will be held Wednesday, June 19 at CSAS (view map).  This half-day event begins with registration at 8:30 am, the conference runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and lunch will be served.

This conference is an opportunity for young men (rising high school seniors in c/o 2014, graduating seniors in c/o 2013, and current college students) to be engaged and network with each other as well as influential professionals and community leaders.

We hope to empower participants to be successful in their post-secondary pursuits by providing a healthy and open environment to build on their academic and personal resiliency inside and outside of school. Conference sessions will reflect innovative work, ideas, and strategies so more men of color will achieve their dreams and succeed.

Conference sessions will include topics such as:

  • Staying Grounded during times of Chaos
  • Black & Brown College Bound
  • “Presenting You” Interview Techniques
  • Men Making Choices
  • How Males of Color Prepare for College and Careers in STEM

Sessions will be structured to ensure that participants have numerous opportunities to engage in candid discussions.  Download a flyer about this event and register online today!

For more information, contact Janice Neal at 423-668-2423 or at