Recap: Show and Tell

Highlights from our Causeway Challenge speaker panel

Last night, around 100 parents, teachers, administrators, and community members joined us at Show and Tell, a speaker panel held at The Center for the Creative Arts. The purpose of the event was to lend some inspiration for the Causeway Challenge, a grant that asks how parents can help transform public education. Our speakers, Tracy Hill, Pamela Grundy, Ginger Spickler, and Ben York, led impressive projects all over the country that empower parents to get more involved in education. When we heard about each of these projects, we knew there were people in Chattanooga capable of implementing similar projects.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, that’s okay! Read a little more about the speakers and check out the videos and pictures of their presentations below.

Parent University

Tracy Hill | Cleveland, Ohio

“Families are the baking powder; if you don’t mix them with the rest of the recipe, your schools will never rise.”

Tracy Hill used her years of educational experience to build Parent University which helps caretakers learn how to best support their children. Tracy recognizes how important parental involvement is for the success of students, so she organized college tours to let both parents and students experience a college together. For many, the thought of college became a reality as this was the first time setting foot inside of one. These tours were a huge success, with 93% of students who attended the tours enrolled in college at the end of high school.

Shamrock Gardens Elementary

Pamela Grundy | Charlotte, North Carolina

“We stopped the revolving door of teachers coming and going... It’s not just about the test scores, it’s about being a school with a good environment. People should want to stay! “

Pamela Grundy chose to send her child to an low-performing school in her neighborhood and saw parents, teachers, and faculty come together to make it a thriving, diverse place to learn. She sought cohesion in the school community by hosting dinners for each grade in the school. At these dinners, parents and teachers interacted in a context that wasn’t about student discipline, but instead allowed them to have fun and learn with their students as they ate and played games.

Memphis School Guide

Ginger Spickler | Memphis, Tennessee

“Ask yourself “what is it you’re passionate about?”… It was 3 or 4 years of thinking somebody needed to create this resource, and I finally realized that somebody was me.”

Ginger Spickler is a wife, mother of two, and Memphian for the past 22 years. She launched her project, the Memphis School Guide, as an online resource for families who don’t have time to try to do all the research to figure out which schools and programs are the best fit for their kids. Ginger realized that every school, whether public, private, or charter, had different strengths and deserved students who fit well in their classrooms. Watch a video about her project here.


Ben York | Stanford, California

“Education and technology are working hand-in-hand with Ready4k… it’s different because [with text messages] we can reach people we could never reach before.”

Ben York created Ready4K to help busy parents prepare their children for kindergarten in the middle of everyday activities. Ready4K is a text messaging program for parents of preschoolers designed to help them prepare their children for kindergarten. Each week during the school year, parents receive three texts about important kindergarten readiness skills. Watch a video of Ben’s project here.

Applications for the Causeway Challenge will be open until April 1st. Up to ten winning projects will receive up to $3000 to implement their idea that address: How can parents help transform public education? Get started on your application at If you have any questions, please stop by our office hours listed on the site.