Eyear Optical Donates Glasses To Chattanooga’s Kids On The Block Puppets

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eyear Optical has donated eyeglasses for Chattanooga Kids on the Block puppet kids Renaldo Rodriguez, Melody James, and Clare Sanchez. The puppet kids went to Eyear Optical on Shallowford Road to be fitted for new eyes glasses before the beginning of school this fall. 

Keith Smart optician apprentice with Eyear Optical fitted all three puppet kids for new glasses. “I saw Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block when I was 11-years-old and loved them. When I got the call to donate glasses I thought now is my chance to give back, I love the fact of what they do for the community and the kids,” he said.

Review for CKOB:

CKOB practices a Japanese art form of puppetry called Bunraku. The puppeteer dresses in black from head to toe and becomes the shadow behind the hand and rod puppet. CKOB puppets consist of characters that are three to four feet tall. They dress in real kids’ clothes, have distinctive personalities and portray for children, through carefully scripted material, a world of real life situations. The puppets become a trusted friend. Children often open up to the puppets talking to them about topics they may not feel comfortable talking about to an adult. It is important for children to be able to relate to the puppets. Puppets range in prices from $700 - $1,500 each and are consistently maintained and updated to reflect the attitudes and style of the children in the community.

It takes almost six months to become fully trained puppeteer. During their training, a puppeteer needs to become knowledgeable about all topics that are presented so that they may answer children’s questions. 

“Going into Eyear Optical with the puppet kids, seeing the process of an eye exam and being fitted for new glasses, gave us an understanding of what a child that wears glasses experiences," said CKOB Program Director Carly Lewallen.  "Now we will be able to answer questions or understand from a child’s point of view the concept of wearing glasses."

CKOB offers educational programs using the power of puppetry to educate children on social concerns and differences, giving them the skills to stay safe and healthy in 15 counties. Financial support through grants, donations and fundraising events gives CKOB the opportunity to provide services free of charge in schools. 

Following a CKOB program, statics show that 67 percent of the children show a positive change in knowledge, attitude and/or behavior of a specific program topic like bullying, child abuse awareness, and healthy snacking just to name a few. 

In a local high school survey 77 percent of the students said that seeing a CKOB program while in elementary school helped them to make better choices. 

With cuts in funding threatening to reduce the number of CKOB programs provided free of charge to the schools in the Chattanooga area, support from business such as Eyear Optical, donations from corporations and individuals and fundraising events through out the year help to ensure that children receive the skills through a unique educational curriculum using puppetry to be safe and healthy.  

For more information on CKOB or to schedule a educational program performances, visit www.kidsontheblock.net or call 757-5259



Hunter Museum To Host Jazzanooga Brunches This Fall

The Hunter Museum of American Art will host a special series of brunches this fall featuring live jazz in partnership with Jazzanooga, a citywide celebration of jazz co-founded by Shane Morrow and James McKissic. The Hunter Museum has been a partner with Jazzanooga since its 2011 inception. This year they are expanding the partnership beyond the April events to include a series ... (click for more)

Firefighters Against Hunger Food Drive Benefits Area Food Bank

The Chattanooga Fire Department’s 8th annual Firefighters Against Hunger Food Drive for this year is history and the totals are in from the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. For the week of Aug. 18–24, Chattanooga firefighters collected 2,364 pounds of food and $950 in cash.   Last year, the department collected 2,811 pounds of food, and $265 in cash donations. Compared to last ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)