A Night Under the Stars will provide an opportunity for East Chattanooga youth to experience some of Chattanooga's greatest public, outdoor spaces, which happen to be in their own backyard. The program will work with the Good Neighbor Network of East Chattanooga to recruit interested youth, and lead them through a series of hikes, culminating with a campout that includes learning how to build a fire, setting up a tent, and stargazing.
Meredith Levine and Megan Emery
Big Whimsy, in partnership with the downtown Chattanooga Public Library, will host an intergenerational tinkering week where members of the community will help build a larger-than-life, glow-in-the-dark version of the game Pick Up Sticks and make a plan for a giant, portable, coloring fort. Once built, these playful installations will make an appearance at many diverse community events throughout the city. "Going big" means these games aren't just for kids--they require the added play of an adult to work properly, resulting in inviting opportunities for play among adults or cooperative intergenerational play.
Jazmine LeBlanc and Audrey Menard
This group of parents and neighbors in East Lake plan to start a weekly reading group that culminates in a playful Book Fiesta on World Book Day in April, where they will bring some of their favorite books to life with readings and creative activities. This team knows that play has the power to build trust, unity, and cross-cultural understanding among their diverse neighbors and their children. This project will contribute to kindergarten readiness and literacy rates by engaging families in literacy, making books easily accessible and reading fun.
Camp Wakawalu was dreamed up by a collection of parents, teachers, physical therapists, pastors, and community members to provide the opportunity for a playful weekend for families in the Chattanooga area who have children with Downs Syndrome. Camp Wakawalu will give more than 200 families in our city the chance to play, relax, and form a support system with other families like theirs. Not only will the children who have Downs Syndrome enjoy each other and their counselors, but moms and dads will benefit from spending time with other parents who "get it," and siblings will meet friends across the city who face the same things in their daily lives.
Kelly Arnold, Catherine Carter, Israel Valdes
Clínica Médicos is a unique healthcare clinic that provides bilingual services to Chattanooga's under-served Latino population unrestricted by age, gender, pregnancy, or insurance status. For Latino families, a trip to the doctor for one member is often a trip for the entire family. Children spend hours in the waiting room as other members of the family are seen by the doctor. Building a playground outside of the building will help Clínica Médicos break down the barriers that often keep the community that they serve from receiving the healthcare that they need.
Project Leaders: Lisa Crowder and Stevie Ray Dallimore
The Muse of Fire Project is a one-of-a-kind, after-school program where students, age 10 to 12, develop original short plays and learn the fundamentals of acting and communicating through the written and spoken word, then local adult actors learn and perform the students' plays. TMOFP aims to build bridges in the Chattanooga community by fostering relationships among kids from different demographic groups, to create an experience of success in young people, and to promote literacy and the arts as fun and accessible to everyone. The result for participants and audiences alike is an evening of wonderful, unique stories dramatized in a way that illustrates how children see the world.
Project Leader: Roenesha Anderson
P.L.A.Y. will bring at-risk youth and city authority figures, such as police and firefighters, together through basketball, sports, and other athletic, team-building activities. This team's goal is to create a two-way street for understanding — that the youth might learn not to be afraid of authority figures who are here to help, and that the police and firefighters might get to know and better understand the youth in their communities — by coming together on a level playing field through sports.
Anastasia Hanes, Keegan McCarthy, and Benna Curole
Local teen volunteers from the Creative Discovery Museum's Museum Apprentice Program will host a special play day event at the museum that focuses on a generation that is often left out of playful activities — senior citizens. This project provides the opportunity to build intergenerational relationships and lessen social isolation through play, making a positive difference in the lives of the seniors, teens, and preschoolers who participate.
Haven't you been wondering what we could do with that broken down glass elevator on First Street between Market and Cherry? Ryan Sandwick wants to turn it into a giant slide that can be enjoyed by everyone through both active and passive play. This playful addition will turn into a common Chattanooga thoroughfare, between the pedestrian bridge and the Aquarium, into an unexpected pocket of play where people can come together.
Project Leaders: Katie Hargrave and Brett Hunter
Like Riding a Bicycle is a playful bike tour and skill share in the innovation district, celebrating the untapped skills present in this changing part of Chattanooga. Based on the axiom, "it's like riding a bicycle," this project creates a platform for conversations to happen among neighbors and connections to stick for the long run. Through a self-guided and artist-led bike tour, participants will "race" to learn things from their neighbors —from business know-how to unique do-it-yourself skills.