Dinner After the Bell Safekeeper Series Invites FirstLine Partners to Explore Social Emotional Learning

Dinner After the Bell: The Safekeeper Series, is a series of discussions happening across FirstLine Schools to explore, with school community members, the importance of social-emotional learning. This series will explore the topic of social-emotional learning, offered through a race and equity lens. The first discussion in this series was held at Samuel J. Green Charter School on November 4th in the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA) garden space, which allowed guests to enjoy the beautiful garden area during this intimate gathering. The night began with opening remarks from a number of FirstLine Schools leaders, including CEO Sabrina Pence. During her remarks, Sabrina acknowledged the joy that being in the garden brings to the students across FirstLine Schools.

“We want our students to feel connected to the community, not only right now, but in the future,” Pence said.“ Providing a space like the garden sets the foundation for this connection. Students come to this space because they not only want to learn about how to harvest food but also because they feel safe,” she added. “Allowing them to feel safe here is what keeps them connected to not only the school community but the community as a whole – and supporting that connection is the root of our work.”

Charles West, FirstLine Schools Board Chair, shared his thoughts on why he wanted to become more involved with social-emotional learning and race and equity work happening across all FirstLine Schools.

“This work is about looking at the potential of our students and realizing the way in which we need to embrace the full identity of our students,” said West. “When I started to look deeper at the programs in place to support these initiatives, I was also excited to learn about the dedicated team we have working to support our students,” he added. “This sort of focus on social-emotional learning along with race and equity is what makes FirstLine Schools special, and I believe the community should know about this work.”

After opening remarks, guests enjoyed a four-course meal from Chase Hospitality Group, led by Chef Edgar “Dook” Chase, grandson of the culinary icon, Chef Leah Chase.

Following dinner, FirstLine Schools Lead Network Psychologist, Dr. Allisyn Swift, FirstLine Schools Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Kerrie Partridge, and Samuel J. Green School Director, Ava Lee led a panel discussion and answered questions from the audience. Those attending were able to hear from each of them about the work we are doing to better serve our students, both at the network level of FirstLine Schools and in each school.

The next event in the Dinner After the Bell: The Safekeeper Series will be held on Wednesday, December 11th. At this event we will focus on social-emotional learning through our signature program, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans and hear from Rahn Broady, Lead Garden Educator, and Megan Brummer, Lead Chef Educator, and from Kerrie Partridge, FirstLine’s Director of Social and Emotional Learning. To get your ticket to our next event, and learn more about social and emotional learning and our race and equity initiatives, click here.