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Chattanooga's Kids on the Block

Kids on the Block, Inc. is an award-winning international educational program created in 1977 by Barbara Aiello. It was originally created when "mainstreaming" children became a law. It was designed to help introduce children with special needs into school classrooms. The program uses child size puppets to carry out its mission. The highly trained puppeteers use a form of puppetry called Bunraku. They are dressed in black and become shadows behind the puppet. The puppets have distinctive personalities and portray, through carefully scripted material, a world of real life situations. As our puppets come to life, children identify with them and open up to them as if they were trusted friends. Our hope is to prevent problems before they happen. We want to empower children, teaching them the skills to stay safe and healthy.

In tough economic times, many not-for-profit organizations face numerous challenges when it comes to promoting and furthering their cause. The local chapter of Chattanooga Kids on the Block decided to meet their challenge head on by partnering with the digital experts at episode49 to build a new website. "We were looking for a fresh and modern design which would help promote and brand our message and encourage internet viewers to respond to "call to action" opportunities, said Kelly Williams, Executive Director at CKOB. "episode49's creative designs and innovative interaction on the site has far exceeded our highest expectations. Through the new site we have experienced an increase in requests for additional information, fundraising solicitations and volunteer participation," said Williams.

In addition to the new website, episode49 provided excellent service beyond the digital realm to CKOB with immediate responses to questions and concerns. "episode49 addressed our ideas with respect and professional expertise, providing us with the creative flare and technical knowledge that has surpassed our vision," said Williams. CKOB has been instrumental in creating social awareness for children in Chattanooga for the past 30 years. "Using the power of puppetry, our mission is to educate children about social concerns and differences, giving them skills to stay safe and healthy," said Williams. "By partnering with episode49, Chattanooga's Kids on the Block has been able to expand our awareness throughout the community and region, giving us more opportunities to accomplish our mission of educating children."

Chattanooga's Kids on the Block was formed in 1979 by Mary Ann Schenk. It is one of the oldest and most experienced troupes performing today. In 1985, CKOB became an official United Way agency, and receives additional funding from foundations, grants, corporations, community organizations, special events and individual donations. Their puppeteers are highly skilled and receive continuous in-service training on the topics they present. CKOB has many volunteer opportunities for all interest levels. Please contact them at 423-757-5259 if you would like to take part in a very special organization.

episode49 supports Chattanooga's Kids on the Block from online strategies to volunteering. We believe highly in the mission of CKOB and continue our own ideals of supporting our community organizations. The new website design for CKOB was envisioned to put a completely new face on a long standing organization that continues to be at the forefront of educating our children in ways to keep them safe and healthly.