Summer of the Lorax

Earlier this summer, through the Causeway Challenge we awarded grants to 10 different projects that answered the question, “How can parents help transform public education in Chattanooga?”

Parents and children gathered for a celebration and viewing of the movie “The Lorax,” based on the Dr. Seuss book.

We love when local neighborhoods get involved in their nearby public school. It builds community and encourages connectivity between all members. One of our Education Challenge projects did just that.

Nicholas Goebeler’s Education Challenge project, Summer of the Lorax, was a simple idea: Give every kindergarten family at Eastside Elementary a copy of Dr. Seuss’ book, The Lorax, and have them read it together over the summer. When school started again in the fall, they would host a celebration party to celebrate their reading achievement.

Last month, the Ferger Place Neighborhood Association hosted this celebration party in partnership with their neighborhood school, Eastside Elementary. Families and children gathered to celebrate their reading achievement through a neighborhood-wide party that brought The Lorax to life through an outdoor showing of the movie and tree-planting activities to reinforce the book’s environmental themes.

With the grant money received from winning the Education Challenge, Goebeler purchased 110 copies of Seuss’ The Lorax (both in Spanish and English), secured all the media, audio, and projection materials necessary to project the movie outdoors, promoted the event, and provided food for the attendees.

This event was a great success, and was a perfect example of how to better increase parent involvement in public education. This neighborhood-wide party was a celebration of reading, of the environment, and of community connectivity.