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  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Celebrating Successes at FirstLine

On Friday February 13th, while all our scholars slept in for the beginning of their Mardi Gras break, FirstLine’s staff gathered together in the gym at Arthur Ashe Charter School for a network pep rally! The Theme for the Pep Rally was: The Mystic Krewe of FirstLine presents: The FirstLine Renaissance. In true Krewe tradition, the celebration started with a parade. Each school put together a float that their staff members marched in behind. As the brass music blared and the schoolteachers stomped, the Mardi Gras spirit was infectious throughout the gym. A healthy competition among schools ensued, where they were judged in (3) categories. Everyone showed their FirstLine spirit as they acted out the key messages of the FirstLine Renaissance: Body, Mind and Spirit. After the competition, it was time for the main event of the pep rally: The Inaugural Big Chief Awards.
The Big Chief Awards were created to spotlight teachers and staff who exemplify FirstLine’s core values of Learning, Results, Collaboration, Service, and Fun (the secret value). At the awards ceremony, awards in each area were presented, with (2) winners taking home the service award. The names of the award winners were kept a surprise until the video presentations revealed the winner. When the names of the winners were announced, huge cheers erupted in the bleachers, and winners were prone to being swarmed with hugs and adoration from their peers. As they made their way to the spotlight at the center of the gym, the Big Chiefs (who the awards are named after), were there to present them with a beautiful glass sculpture created by local non-profit organization Ya-Ya.

Big Chief Award Winners (l to r): Carolyn Trask, Julia Dezen,
              LaJean Hunter, Sivi Domango, Kaitlyn Gaddis, Eileen Bunton

The awards ceremony inspired all FirstLine employees and reminded us of why we do what we do. It showed us just how much we can achieve, and how much stronger we become when we group together as a network. But above all, it showed us that even though everything we do is for the scholars, none of it could happen without the staff. We would like to congratulate the inaugural Big Chief Award Winners on a job well done! Thank You for all that you do!

The Ramona Luke Big Chief of Service Award (Two winners): Carolyn Trask, Langston Hughes Academy, Social Worker; LaJean Hunter, Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, Front Office Administrator

The Darcy McKinnon Big Chief of Collaboration Award: Sivi Domango, Arthur Ashe Charter School, Co-Director

The Anthony “Doc” Recasner Big Chief of Learning Award: Eileen Bunton, Samuel J. Green Charter School, Literacy Integration Specialist

The Brenda Benoit Big Chief of Results Award: Julia Dezen, Samuel J. Green Charter School, Fourth Grade Teacher

The Kelly Miranda Big Chief of Fun Award: Kaitlyn Gaddis, Phillis Wheatley (formerly John Dibert) Community School, Kindergarten Teacher

To view all of the Big Chief Award video presentations click THIS LINK.
For photos, click THIS LINK.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Green Charter gets a new soccer field!

Through an in-kind donation from Crescent City Soccer, Samuel J. Green Charter School has received a brand new soccer field! Crescent City Soccer runs a league for adults, and one of their leagues plays on the field four to five times per week, often until 11pm!

The kids at Green love running around on the brand new grass and playing all sorts of games with each other. The beautiful open space provides a welcome area to just have fun and to be children. While soccer may not be the most popular sport in the US, we're guessing that it's going to become much more popular at S.J. Green Charter in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FirstLine scholars compete in Special Olympics Bowling Tournament

Last week, Colonial Bowling Lanes in Harrahan, hosted a Special Olympic Bowling Tournament. Arthur Ashe Charter School, Samuel J. Green Charter School, John Dibert Community School at Phillis Wheatley, and Langston Hughes Academy, each had students participating in the tournament.

Each team bowled at least two games, and let me tell you, I have never seen so many strikes! A big congrats goes out to all of our scholars who participated, and to everyone who helped to make this even possible.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Our 4th graders at Green wrote a book!

Last Tuesday Samuel J. Green Charter School held the Big Class Publishing event. The event was a release party for a book penned by our very own 4th grade Green Charter scholars. During the event all our 4th grade scholars read their favorite excerpt from different stories in the book.
The book, titled “This is How it All Began: Animal Origin Stories,” tells imaginative stories of how different animals came to existence. Our scholars were excited and animated while reading the different excerpts. All the wonderful parents and guardians in attendance were delighted to hear the creative stories their scholars wrote. Our 4th graders were very happy with their work and beamed with pride following their readings.

FirstLine would like to give a big shout-out to Big Class for publishing the wonderful stories our Green Charter scholars wrote. We would like to give a shout-out to all our Green Charter scholars for writing such creative and fun stories. We would also like to give a shout-out to all the awesome parents and guardians that came out to show their support for their scholars. We always enjoy the opportunity to expose our scholars to new experiences and celebrate their successes. We look forward to the next batch of great stories!

To get a copy of “This is How it All Began: Animal Origin Stories” please visit:

For more information about FirstLine Schools visit

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Surgeon General Visits Green Charter

Our Green Charter scholars got a great surprise last Tuesday when the Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Boris D. Lushniak M.D., stopped by to give a presentation. Dr. Lushniak spoke to our eighth grade classes about the importance of active living, healthy diet, refraining from smoking and being leaders in their communities.
Dr. Lushniak’s talk was followed by a question and answer session with our eighth grade class. The students asked thoughtful questions about how Dr. Lushniak got to his position, obstacles he faced and what he was doing to stop the spread of disease. Dr. Lushniak was insightful, energetic and inspiring while answering the scholar’s questions.
After his visit with the eighth grade class, Dr. Lushniak took a tour through Green’s edible schoolyard and stopped in on a gardening class. He took time to speak with the scholars in the gardening class and answer questions. Moving from the gardening class, Dr. Lushniak also stopped in on one of our cooking classes to take in the unique program offered by FirstLine Schools.
We would like to send a big shout-out to our Green Charter scholars and staff for being gracious hosts for our guest. We would also like to send a big shout-out to Dr. Lashniak for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit with our scholars and provide words of encouragement to our staff for all their wonderful work.

Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA) is a signature program of FirstLine Schools, to learn more about ESYNOLA and FirstLine Schools please visit, follow us on twitter and instagram: @firstlineNOLA and like us on Facebook  

Jesse Short is a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member serving at FirstLine Schools as the Technology and Social Media Coordinator.

FIRST Lego League!

The FIRST Lego League has come to #GreenCharter! Earlier this month, Green Charter Scholars participated in the inaugural FIRST Lego League meeting. The team consists of six scholars in grades 6-8. The team meets twice a week to work together on building robots from lego kits and will eventually program the robots to perform different tasks for participation in a regional competition. The competition, which is a few weeks away, will showcase the team’s robot building and programming abilities. In addition to other factors, the team will be judged based on a research topic and presentation. Scoring is also determined by judging the technical aptitude, teamwork and sportsmanship of the group.

FIRST Lego League is one of many enrichment opportunities that FirstLine Schools offers to our students. The funding for Green’s team comes from our partnership with Friends of FIRST. At FirstLine, we understand that learning outside the classroom can be just as impactful as learning inside the classroom. Getting our scholars excited about learning is always rewarding. We look forward to future updates on the FIRST Lego League team’s success, and hope to add teams at all of our FirstLine Schools!

To learn more about FirstLine Schools and our variety of enrichment programs please visit
Be sure to follow us on twitter and instagram as well: @FirstLineNOLA and "like" us on Facebook

Jesse Short is a Louisiana Delta Service Corps member serving at FirstLine Schools as the Technology and Social Media Coordinator.