UnifiEd Hosts Video Launch Block Party To Share Public Schools’ Great Stories

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
UnifiEd will host an event this weekend to debut the first 28 short films in a series that tells the story of great things happening in Hamilton County public schools. The Video Launch Block Party will be this Saturday and will feature video screenings, games, interactive art projects, ice cream, music, and more in true block party style at UnifiEd’s offices from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Videos will continue being produced in the coming months to highlight the unique character of
each of Hamilton County’s public schools.
The project expands on the Hamilton County Public
School Guide that the organization first published last year. The guide has been updated for 2017 and will be available on UnifiEd’s website on April 1.

“The first generation of our school guides provided information on all Hamilton County public
schools including demographics, test scores, and classroom offerings. They did a great job of
providing quantitative data, but we know numbers don’t tell the full story of these schools,” said
Jonas Barriere, UnifiEd executive director. “The video project is a way of telling stories and
highlighting achievements in our schools in a way that statistics don’t capture.”

UnifiEd partnered with Causeway to produce these videos. Battle Academy parent Katie Smith
sought a Causeway grant in 2016 to create a school guide featuring videos with behind-the-scenes insight into each school's culture, beyond just stats and test scores. Once she learned UnifiEd had already created a school guide, the two groups decided to join forces to create a more comprehensive guide series.

“One of our goals at Causeway is to create connections between passionate community members and local organizations who can help kick-start their ideas. We are so pleased with
the partnership that has formed between Katie’s idea to build a Chattanooga school guide and
the work UnifiEd is already doing in the community,” says Abby Garrison, Causeway executive
director.

Many students who have had the opportunity to preview their schools’ films are enthusiastic
about the project and believe it will open the door to highlight what’s working well in their schools.

“These videos are a great way to showcase the amazing things happening in all of our public
schools,” says Avery Simmons, a CSAS senior. “So much attention is always paid to what isn’t
working well in our schools. As a student I am excited for our community to recognize and give
thanks to the students and teachers who work hard everyday to make our schools a great place
to learn and grow.”

D’Andre Anderson, a Central High School senior, says, “I really enjoyed watching the video for
the elementary school I attended. It encouraged me to be proud of where I came from as well as
appreciate the new opportunities available to students currently attending that school.”

While UnifiEd is seeking to transform the predominantly negative narrative surrounding our public schools, they are also hoping this project ignites the community to take action and become more involved in public education initiatives.

“We want community members to use the information in the School Guide and videos to gain a
realistic understanding of their public schools’ accomplishments, challenges, and needs for
support,” says Ashley Conrad, UnifiEd director of Policy and Research. “I hope these videos spur conversations and ultimately get more people engaged as advocates dedicated to ensuring all of our students have access to the resources they need to be successful.”

The Video Launch Block Party will be Saturday, April 1 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at UnifiEd’s office,
1609 McCallie Ave. The free, family-friendly event will include games, art projects, food, music,
and fun for all ages. For event details, visit the Facebook event page here.



Junior League Of Chattanooga Hosts Reception For New Hamilton County Teachers

The Junior League of Chattanooga kicked-off the school year with a welcome to Hamilton County School’s new K-5 teachers. At the reception, which took place at Orchard Knob Elementary School, the Junior League contributed school supplies and introduced the committee that will be helping with special projects, providing teacher supplies and additional in-class support to new teachers ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools' Activities For The Week Of Aug. 13

George R. Stuart Elementary hosts  Smart Goal Setting Session on Tuesday, 6:30-7:30 pm. Parents are invited to learn how to help students set and achieve their goals. Popcorn and drinks provided. Click here for more information or contact Savannah Shell, 423-476-8246, sshell@clevelandschools.org .    Yates Primary hosts an Open House and ... (click for more)

Pinkston's Office Seeking The Death Penalty Against Trio Charged In Murder Of State Witness Bianca Horton

The office of District Attorney Neal Pinkston is seeking the death penalty against three men charged in the murder of state witness Bianca Horton. The intent to seek the death penalty was filed against Andre Grier, Courtney High and Charles Shelton. They were among 42 alleged members of the Athens Park Bloods gang charged in a state RICO action. Ms. Horton was gunned down ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Mayor, City Council To Appoint Phil Noblett As City Attorney

Mayor Andy Berke and the Chattanooga City Council said they will introduce a joint resolution next  Tuesday  confirming Phil Noblett as city attorney and chief legal officer for the city of Chattanooga. A native of Asheville, N.C., Mr. Noblett received his J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham and has been a licensed ... (click for more)

The Sad Condition Of Historic Brown's Ferry Tavern

It is embarrassing and saddening how the historic Brown's Ferry Tavern looks right now. It is disgusting.    Whoever the new owner is has left this amazing piece of our local history to rot. Pieces are falling off the roof and chimney. The grounds: grass, bushes, trees are so overgrown and out-of-control that it is disgraceful.   Private property ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Cake Is Baked’

If all goes well, and as expected, Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton will tell a group representing the Democratic Party not to ever again clutter his office or his courtroom with such a childish amount of political poppycock as will be brought on display tomorrow. The Democrats want to block Robin Smith, a longtime Republican stalwart, from becoming our next State Representative ... (click for more)