Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Camp X Rounds Out a Great Season

Summer Camp X just finished up a great summer season at Ashe Charter School! Our FirstLine Students participated in a wide variety of activities; from biking, to graphic design, to dance, to running, to yoga, and even running a restaurant!

Besides being a great way to spend time during the summer, all of our classes at Summer Camp X aim to foster our students' mind, body, and spirit. Whether they are learning to set goals, or learning the skills necessary to run a restaurant, they are spending their school break in a constructive and valuable way.

For more info on Summer Camp X, click HERE. We hope to see your FirstLine student there next summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Restaurant Impossible at Summer Camp X

Restaurant Impossible, just one of the many courses at Summer Camp X, celebrated their final days of camp by opening a student-designed, built, and run restaurant! Only open for two days during lunch, Restaurant Impossible was a show stopper.

One of our kind patrons gave us five stars and wrote the below review:
I will admit, I was skeptical, as I've experienced mixed results eating lunch in school cafeterias in the past. However, Restaurant Impossible blew away its cafeteria competitors.
My party was seated by two polite and undoubtedly-brilliant hostesses, and we each promptly received a bowl of seasoned popcorn and a cold glass of ice water from our waiter, Danté. The popcorn was delicious, and every person in my party of four ate every kernel. Danté (rising 7th grader) and Caitlyn (rising 2nd-grader) took care of all of us throughout the meal, promptly refilling our water glasses with some of the finest and freshest water offered in New Orleans. An impeccably-dressed manager in a salmon-colored shirt and khaki vest (with matching square) roamed the floor, ensuring that all guests were satisfied.
The food came out shortly after we ordered. The chicken tenders were just that--tender. The breading was perfectly crunchy, giving me the satisfaction of fried food without the grease. The mac-n-cheese portions were Cheesecake Factorian, and the presentation was
One of my colleagues ordered the veggie tacos, which included a healthy scoop of guacamole and locally-sourced eggplant. Both the tacos and the guac looked outstanding--take notes, all other purveyors of Mexican food in New Orleans.
Another colleague of mine ordered the chicken wings and mozzarella sticks. This colleague exists on a diet that is at least 75% chicken wings, so she has a very discerning palette when it comes to fried bird arms. Well, guess what? The chefs at Restaurant Impossible knocked her socks off, and she refused to share. The mozzarella sticks she did share was one of the most delightful fried cheese experiences you could ever hope to have.
My final colleague was in a rush, so she only ordered the chips and homemade grape-tomato salsa. (You read that right.) Guess what? The innovators at Restaurant Impossible knocked this one out of the park, too, and left me wondering how a team of middle- and elementary-schoolers can be more creative in the kitchen than a 30 year-old who once received an A in his 'Making Meals for Others' class in 8th grade. Absolument magnifique.
My only regrets for the meal were that A) I didn't try the smoothies, and B) I didn't pay the $5 extra to sit in the VIP room. (I tried. My colleagues were skeptical, and soon regretted not purchasing the status.) All in all, I give Restaurant Impossible a 100/100.

If you weren't able to make it to Restaurant Impossible, we have some pictures to ease the pain. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Educator of the Year: Ms. Caitlin Meehan-Draper

A graduate from Eckerd College, Caitlin joined Teach for America in 2010. During this time she taught 10th, 11th, and 12th graders at Greensboro High School in Alabama. In her first year teaching Ms. Meehan-Draper decided to teach Night by Elie Wiesel. This lesson was inspired by her time at Eckerd College, where Wiesel taught. Each year Wiesel gave a speech to the Freshman class. This initial interaction with Wiesel and his beliefs about our moral compass, sparked an everlasting relationship between Night and Ms. Meehan-Draper's students.

The first time Caitlin taught the book to her class it was a challenge for both her and her students. However, each time Ms. Meehan-Draper taught the book it got better and better. Her students were soon able to analyze contemporary issues through the themes and lessons of Night.  Students wrote papers about the innocence or guilt of German citizens, the impact of silence on violence, along with a multitude of other concepts. In the 2011-2012 school year Ms. Meehan-Draper fundraised nearly $10,000 to take a group of students to hear Wiesel's address the Eckerd freshman class. 

After two years at Greensboro High School, Ms. Meehan-Draper joined our family at Samuel J. Green Charter School. Since joining the Green family, Ms. Meehan-Draper has taught Night every year. 

Caitlin's work in the classroom and the impact of her lessons did not go unnoticed. Ms. Meehan-Draper was nominated by Green Charter School Director Ava Lee and Middle School Principal Andrew Sullivan for the Holocaust Educator of the Year Award. Shortly following her nomination, the Jewish Community Center interviewed Ms. Meehan-Draper. During the interview Ms. Meehan-Draper was able to share letters from past students who wrote about how holocaust studies have changed their lives. Caitlin also showed the JCC an article she wrote for Southern Jewish Life about her trip to Eckerd to hear Wiesel speak. 

On April 12th the JCC held the Yom HaShoa ceremony which remembers the victims of the Holocaust and their families. It was during this ceremony that Ms. Meehan-Draper was honored for her incredible work. Other events included prayers, stories from Holocaust survivors and liberators, and a reading from Alex Zapruder. 

Caitlin said, "it was a beautiful night because my parents, co workers, school leaders, and students came to support me. This award validated a lof the work I have done to teach the transformative lessons of the Holocaust. I look forward to many more years of teaching Holocaust units and I hope to get better and better at it."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Green Charter wins the WWII Museum's robotics challenge music video contest!

On May 9, nearly 40 teams, including Samuel J. Green Charter School, participated in the World War II Museum's robotics challenge. 

Each team was tasked with completing a variety of robotics missions and producing a two-minute music video about one or more important innovations or inventions from WWII.

Samuel J. Green Charter School's robotics club built a robot that was able to successfully complete several missions and earn points for the team. Building a robot is no easy task, so this accomplishment was impressive in itself! 

We are excited to announce that Samuel J. Green Charter took first place in the music video portion of the challenge! Students created a music video, set to the tune of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." The short video reviews a number of important inventions from the time period with a series of clever rhymes. 

Check it out below!

Also, Samuel J. Green Charter School would like to give a shout out to the Phillis Wheatley Community School (formerly John Dibert) team that competed.  They graciously shared their practice table, mat, and mission models with their fellow FirstLiners. Go Team FirstLine!  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Check out Chartwells' new NutriSlice website and app!

The way we access our school menus is changing in an exciting new way! FirstLine Schools, in partnership with Chartwells, is now using Nutrislice to publish the school menus to a new interactive website and a free smartphone app! Now our school community can access our menus anywhere, anytime!

New easy-to-use features include:
* More information about menu items, including a photo and description
* Filter for common food allergens like nuts, wheat and dairy
* A translation feature to translate your menus into a number of different languages
* Access to nutrition information like carb counts and calories with just a few clicks!

The new site and mobile app is now available and information will continue to be posted on the Chartwells' website. Be on the lookout for the launch of our new site and feel free to direct any questions to Tom Gandolfo, 504-914-8461

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pizza Poetry Day at Green

Students at Green Charter were proud to participate in this year's Pizza Poetry Day sponsored by Big Class in celebration of National Poetry Month. The day featured writing, poetry reading, and pizza. Last Friday, April 17th, student's poems were printed onto pizza boxes, which were delivered throughout the city. We are delighted to share a selection of those poems with you here:
School is fun
school is cool
my mom thinks
school rules
When school
is over
it makes
me cry
my mother
– My’kael
I live in New Orleans
flying high, singing
songs you might
see me flying
by, sometimes
it will be in
the fall,
will ever
make me
– Hiyanta

I love pizza
it’s so cheesy
and crispy I love meat love
pepperoni and others too
so I love all types
and that’s me.
– Damiri

Sadness is the soul of the moon
Stars that walk like people
and keep on going
And people never see
the beauty of me
That a thing can keep sealed
I used to have a dream,
only one about the real me.
– Nala

Humpty Dumpty fell on the
hill he couldn’t get
up and never got
his wish of
pizza so
you might
want to
get pizza
he wanted
– Tyriell

School: Samuel J. Green Charter School

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wheatley Community School's Black History & Culture Fair

On February 25th, Phillis Wheatley Community School (formerly John Dibert Community School), had a very special event in honor of Black History Month - A History and Culture Fair, organized by Ms. Sarah Bliss and her 6th Grade Scholars. 

Since the beginning of the school year, students have been looking forward to black history month. The fair provided students the opportunity to study one person in depth while also learning from each other by creating and presenting their projects. Some in-class research time was provided, but the majority of the work was done on their own time, over Mardi Gras break nonetheless! 

Students were integral to the event's success, helping to set up, take down, distribute tickets, and collect votes. If students weren't presenting, they were giving tours to parents and the Pre-K to 2nd grade classes that attended. The historical figures studied ranged from the well known (Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman) to the lesser known (Angela Davis and Meadowlark Lemon). It was an amazing experience for students, parents, and the whole Wheatley community; seeing kids teach guests about their history and take so much pride in what they learned was really inspiringThe projects went above and beyond what Ms. Bliss expected, and she plans to make sure The Black History Month History & Culture Fair becomes a February tradition at Wheatley. 

Congratulations to winners of the prizes, which were were given in 3 categories: 

Presentation - Kiara Bell (Ella Fitzgerald)

Lookalike (dressed up as historical figure) - a tie: Francisco Williams (Ray Charles) and Chavone Zeno (Katherine Dunham)

Project Excellence - Dascia Cofield (Mamie Smith)

For more pictures of the History & Culture Fair, click THIS LINK