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Edible Schoolyard NOLA

Edible Schoolyard NOLA

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Changing the way children and familieseat, learn and live at FirstLine Schools in New Orleans.


The Secret to Our Success

Dec 18, 2014

We want the world to know EXACTLY what we love about our volunteers and interns, so we're going to tell you. The list is long because we have so many wonderful helpers, and we have SO much to say about them! 


The ESYNOLA community loves the creativity, enthusiasm, and experience Shon Baker and Alice Glenn bring to planning the 2015 An Edible Evening. They have assembled a strong and motivating team of volunteers who will help make this first garden fundraiser at LHA a memorable experience for our supporters. 

Cathy Pierson and Karin Giger are both founders of ESYNOLA and the ESYNOLA Task Force. They remain as committed today as they were when they first hatched the idea of teaching children to grow food and cook it in healthy ways. Dee McCloskey has taken up the baton of leadership and is helping us to find new ways to engage our loyal Task Force members, plus increase its ranks by welcoming new supporters to the group. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. 

ESYNOLA simply adores Aron Michalski. He was a huge asset to us during his tenure with FirstLine Schools, and has continued to contribute to our school communities by pitching in at ESYNOLA special events. We're blessed to have Aron's creative, problem-solving skills for An Edible Evening 2015!

Sasha Munchak is organized, thoughtful, and focused. We love her clear sense of what she wants out of life and her patience to do what needs to be done to get there. The ESYNOLA newsletter looks so great thanks to Sasha!

Cool under pressure, Lauren Baker is able to juggle major school projects with not-so-exciting ESYNOLA data entry work. We appreciate her commitment and consistency in caring for the behind-the-scenes side of ESYNOLA.

Kieta Mutepfa is a great motivator with a wide variety of skill sets, mission-aligned interests and good instincts. She is a great big-picture thinker with a generous heart.  

Janice Carr got our kids amped about upcoming special events with her fabulous, glittery signs with special touches like replicated logos and drawings.

From everything from inventing spreadsheets to moving compost piles Miriam Stassi's flexibility and good spirits have been a tremendous help this semester across all five school gardens. We look forward to having her helping hands with An Edible Evening! 

Kelsey Gilbert’s enthusiasm is contagious. She brings so much knowledge and heart to our programming at Wheatley!

Patience Impson is always just so... Patient! She is such a great help and the Wheatley kiddos really love her. We are so thankful she is a part of our growing garden program!

We appreciated our time with Dr. Victoria Snider. We're so grateful for the MANY classes and events for which she volunteered, and for all her good questions and suggestions. We wish her the best of luck starting a garden education program in Cape Town, South Africa!

Catherine Carmichael is willing and ready to jump into any LHA adventure at ANY time, she is super helpful with kids and our plants.

Sergio Ramoa has a HUGE heart and is so positive!

Jenna Losh is always such a great role model for our kids, she helps them do the right thing in garden class at LHA. 

Abigayle Lista and Corina Lopez are AMAHAZING! Bulletin boards, signage, paint project extraordinaires! The team at LHA so appreciates you! 

Melissa Toler is a garden wizard at LHA. She knows aLOT! And in the kitchen at Green Charter School, Melissa has been wonderful with kids of all ages and always knows how to jump into just the task we need help with the most.

Haley Milsar is the helpful intern LHA has ever had. She’s super willing to get dirty, work with kid interns, and help out in the garden. Always excited to learn, too!

Teva Peter is always extremely calm in the Ashe kitchen and ready to help in any kind of way.

Gisele Perez is hard working and consistent! Her kitchen savvy-ness shines in her ability to jump right in and do whatever is needed. 

Roxie Olivio is the Ashe’s kitchen's biggest sweetheart! Roxie loves the kids and is always extremely thoughtful in all she does. She is a ray of sunshine. 

MVP of the Ashe kitchen, Maggie Whittington is an all-around winner! She has a great attitude, a desire to learn, help, and grow, and has been just a great addition to our team!

Amber Manino is so sweet and we love her in the Ashe kitchen! She is always a great help and has a wonderful attitude. 

Sam Stuckey is a hard worker and eager helper & learner. He’s so kind to devote his days off to the Ashe garden or an event we may need help with!

Renee Panter Williams is an amazing lady who's shared her time, her vast knowledge of medicinal herbs, and her positivity with us in the gardens at Ashe and LHA, and at 3 Family Food events! She's almost an ESYNOLA staff member already, with so much to share. We look forward to working more with her!

Angela Petrakis, in her seemingly infinite kindness and love, has built intimate and loving relationships with so many children in garden classes at Ashe. She is an inspiration to us all!

Sergy Odiduro comes to the Ashe garden eager to lend a hand and big smile and little Osholanke strapped to her back! It's a 2 for 1 package! She is so eager to contribute and make the place where her children spend their days better and brighter and more sustainable.

What a smart and sweet guy Sean Ambrose is! He jumps right into any activity, charming everybody, even the grumpiest of middle schoolers. And we’re so lucky to have his photography skills for our student portrait series!

Erin Buran is been a recent addition in the Ashe garden classroom, but has really stepped up to the plate, lending companionship and guidance to our kids.

Marsha Bard has been helping with our gardens since the brutal heat of June. And she keeps on coming back, with curiosity, kindness and hard work. It has been a pleasure getting to know her over seeding and up-potting sessions!

Sarah Smith is a calm and kind presence in our garden and classroom, always ready and willing for the weird task of the day, including but not limited to making DIY parade decorations for Sweet Potato Fest.

Monique O'Toole Vige has been such an gift to Clark Prep's garden classes. She is such a positive model for our students and has formed strong, intimate friendships with them. We're excited to have her continue working in our other school communities next semester! 

Rebecca Au has epitomized flexibility, being amazing with our kids in the Green kitchen (even leading groups at times), and fearlessly digging into dirtier projects at the drop of a hat. She has been a true gem. And she’s also a cornerstone of our garden classes. She has built relationships with students and is trusted by all.

Julia Palmisano charmed our first graders with her gentle touch and helpful hand. We couldn't have asked for a more helpful, consistent volunteer.

Joanna Cross was a constant focal point of love and support for both kids and our staff alike. Her presence always warmed kids' hearts and helped improve our instruction.

Ruby Simmalam and Aubrey Schachter jumped right into our middle school culinary classes at Green with enthusiasm and elbow grease. They both helped us with butchering and competitions alike, while also helping whip our kitchen into spick and span shape in record time.

Chanel Chagnard's warmth and closeness with our littlest kids was met with warm hugs and enthusiasm. She was amazing both at instruction and at that secret intuition of knowing what kids needed at any given moment. Thank you!

Anjali Prasertong joined us later in the semester but didn't waste any time digging right in with our most energetic students. Our students love her and so has our kitchen!

Glynis McGowen has been a force of nature since joining us. Leading groups, increasing engagement, jumping into special tasks, and even coming on her off time to help support us in so many ways. Thank you!

Ashlyn Haycook has been a magician for us all semester, supporting kids through a ton of different recipes and helping us keep the Green kitchen together and tidy.

Kate Schuette has been our secret 3rd teacher this semester. She has steadfastly lead groups, helped orchestrate special events, and helped tend to the deepest needs of the Green kitchen. This semester's successes were in huge part thanks to your time and service. Thank you!!!

Ocean Diamond's enthusiasm, work ethic, and infectious joy quickly took over our students and adults alike. We looked forward to every day you would come and jump into classes, cleaning tasks, and beautification. Thank you!

Geordan Lightfoot Smith has been with us through everything this semester and helped us make the Green kitchen a warm, amazing place. Your dependability, gentle touch with kids, and consistent curiosity helped us in so many ways. Thank you!

Erin Floyd has been a secret weapon of the Green garden all semester. Her dedication to the garden after school hours has allowed us to grow more and feed more.

Georgette Kubrusso always seems to be at the right place at the right time, and is always asking what we need. This has made our work easier and more effective.

Nell Bond’s interactions with the students are meaningful and joyous.

Lily Preston was a bouquet superstar at Green. Completely self-directed, she made the school a beautiful place week after week.

Paul Nguyen has been helping us out for a while now. He is always appreciated for his calm and strong undertone.

Amber Neiwald has become a strong pillar of the Green garden. Over the course of the semester she has developed an eye for gardening that has allowed her to be independent and more confident. This has helped our garden enormously. Also, she always comes with a great attitude and sense of humor.

Joel and Deborah Underwood have been cornerstones of the Green Garden community over the years. Joel is always willing to step in and create carpentry magic, and Deborah takes on whatever task we need done, from making bouquets to teaching a small group. We love you both (and adore Deborah's baking)!

Thanks so much to everyone who has opened their hearts to our children, and given their time and expertise for ESYNOLA classes, special events, fundraising goals, and operations. We could not do what we do without YOU!

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