By Alicia Clay, program associate at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
How would you use $10,000 to improve education in YOUR community? The Ideas Challenge asked this question on Facebook earlier this year, asking for 150 words for an idea that improved education. That’s it. Just an idea. No budget, no board list, no timeline. Just an idea, a thought.
The goal of the Ideas Challenge is to inspire residents of greater Atlanta to create innovative solutions to critical community-based issues. This was the second year of this social-media based program of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In 2015, three top winners will receive a cash prize up to $1,000 and a partnership with a local nonprofit to implement their idea with a grant award up to $10,000.
The Ideas Challenge has been such a refreshing project to work on for a couple reasons. Why do I love this program? The Ideas Challenge is innovative, collaborative and an inspiration. Our goal is to inspire Atlantans to become grassroots leaders. To think, talk, and take action in their communities. It’s a reminder that communities are built, improved and strengthened by the people who live in them.
Today we announce top 16 ideas of the 2015 Ideas Challenge. We received 200 entries from across the 23-county region addressing issues in education through nutrition, eco-education, entrepreneurism and even mobile education (think a classroom on wheels). These ideas stood out for their creativity, reach and potential impact. Congratulations to the following semi-finalists:
- ABCs vs APPs, Kathryn Rice
- Camp Success, Tonya Gibson
- Community Champion, Tammy Greer
- Creating Bilingual Communities with Dual Language Classrooms, DeShea Ware Brooks
- S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp/After School Program, Vanessa Johnson
- Knowledge is Freedom, Tami Boyd
- Nutrition and Food Literacy, YaQutullah Ibraheem Muhammad
- Our Town, Diane Dierks
- Recycling For DREAMS!, Debra Clark
- Shop Class as Soul Craft, Elise Blasingame
- STE(A)M Truck, Jason Martin
- The Babysitter’s Club, Aneta Lee
- The Shared History Project, David Burt
- We STEM for Adams Park, Debra Robinson
- Yoga and Meditation for Pre-K and Kindergartners, Robert Douglas
- Youth Unifying Youth, Susanna Spiccia
These semi-finalists will attend a workshop on June 6 where they will fine tune their ideas and pitch to a judges panel. Six finalists will be chosen to create a short video explaining their idea and a public vote will determine the winners.
Be sure to vote for your favorite ideas June 25 – July 9 on the Ideas Challenge Facebook page! www.facebook.com/ideaschallenge.