The following excellent proposals were selected to present at our April 17th SOUP dinner.

  1. ReZoning the Library
    South Doyle Middle School/Michelle Castleberry
    We want to create 'zones' in the library that will energize and fuel student learning in our school. Our library is a massive space that we want to reclaim for innovative learning by building a culture of creativity and discovery in many different formats. The zones we want to create include: a maker space that encapsulate science, social studies, and math; a creative discovery museum that houses learning trunks that bring learning to life including history trunks, a theater, and hands on fun; a reading zone dedicated to fully enjoying reading just for the pleasure of it with bean bags, other comfy seating and nooks for quiet reading time; a small groups area where students can be worked with in a more focused arena on weak academic areas; and a dedicated large group area that can be utilized by the librarian, teachers and others across the district to use for lessons, workshops, meetings and in-service trainings. One last zone we would like to create is a studio used for creating multimedia presentations. It will include equipment, furniture and computer software that allow students to create movies, videos, and other presentations. The entire project is being prepared in a 3-5 year plan of completion. We are seeking funding from different sources to serve in accomplishing this vision.
  2. Kids Love Bikes
    Bike Walk Knoxville/ Lindsey Kimble
    Bike Walk Knoxville applied for a grant (summer of 2017) from the Siddiqi Foundation to fund a Kids Bicycle Safety Education Program. We received funding for 50% of the total requested grant amount, $6,500 each year for 2 years, along with a challenge by the Foundation for BWK to raise the additional 50%, $6,500 each year for 2 years, in order to fund the program. The program, "Kids Love Bikes" has 3 main goals: teach children bike safety, increase the number of kids riding bikes, and provide bike maintenance. Bike Walk Knoxville provides educational materials and contracts with an instructor to teach bike safety and skills to kids selected by the Haslam and Vestal Boys and Girls Club, with bikes provided and maintained by Dream Bikes and Kickstand Community Bike Shop. Each child who successfully completes the program receives a bike provided by Kickstand or Dream Bikes and a helmet provided by the Epilepsy Foundation. Bike Walk Knoxville needs YOUR help to raise the matching funds!
  3. Fueling the Future
    Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy/Knox County Schools
    No transportation is provided for students who attend PKVA. This project would provide students the opportunity to earn $5 gas cards for good attendance to help elevate some of the financial burden of attending this non-traditional high school. The students at Dr. Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy are not typical Knox County students. Each of these students has a unique story, but a common thread unites them. Each has the desire to earn a diploma. For many students, high school is a time filled with classwork, friends, social activities. While this may represent the majority of students, a number of students struggle in high school with not only their grades, but also additional responsibilities, family support, and life circumstances. Once they are behind in graduation credits, the pathways to completion become almost nonexistent. Consequently, Dr. Paul L. Kelley Volunteer Academy becomes a last opportunity for them to achieve their goal of earning a high school diploma. Our program offers students a personalized learning plan to complete their missing credits and to work toward completing their state graduation requirements. Currently PKVA is serving students from every Knox County High School. One of the academies greatest challenges is transportation. Unlike the other high schools in the district, our students are responsible for their own transportation every day. As a result, some students are forced to ride one, two, or even three KAT buses to get to PKVA, and others rely on family and friends to transport them to school. The transportation issue for almost every student is an obstacle that threatens his/her successful completion of the school work required to graduate. While we recently received a grant to provide KAT bus passes, a large number do not reside close to a KAT bus stop. Consequently, our goal is to obtain funds to provide gas cards to those students who rely on alternative transportation to attend school. Because our school has been identified as having over 87% of our student population as economically disadvantaged, gas cards would help offset.
  4. Rider Sponsorship
    Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding
    Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is a unique program that links physically, mentally and neurologically disabled individuals, at-risk youth and those with other special challenges with horses as a means of gaining therapeutic benefits. The main goal is to make each participant as strong, independent and confident as possible, enabling them to reach their fullest potential. Individuals gain self-confidence from the new skills they learn as well as from the social interaction with volunteers, instructors, fellow riders and of course the horse. Our mission is: to foster personal achievement by providing therapeutic experiences using horse related activities for persons with disabilities or other special challenges. STAR is celebrating its 30th anniversary of healing through horses in East Tennessee. Last year we were blessed with a donation of a farm in South Knoxville which will allow us to expand services and open up more opportunities for children and adults with special challenges. This second site will also alleviate some transportation issues we have had trying to serve Knoxville and counties further to our East. We currently have a waiting list for therapeutic riding participants and the expansion will allow us to serve more riders annually. Funding will allow us to sponsor riders in out Therapeutic Riding Program at South Knoxville.