November 17, 2010
Look Inside Liberty's Kitchen and New Orleans College Prep
Posted by MSLO Blogger
1 Founded in 2006, New Orleans College Prep is a free tuition, lottery-admission charter school open to all students in Orleans Parish.
2 92% of the student body is low income, 12% have special needs, and nearly all children enter with test scores at least two years behind grade level.
3 The school's rigorous program has resulted in an average gain of 17% on students' statewide exam scores in just a few years of operation.
4 No one learns on an empty stomach, so serving nutritious meals is a priority for School Director Ben Kleban. This is a typical menu.
5 Liberty's Kitchen partnered with the school to serve meals from scratch, sourcing ingredients as locally as possible and offering typical New Orleans dishes like jambayala, red beans and rice, and okra.
6 No frozen vegetables in sight! The kids eat healthy meals here because they really taste good.
7 The employees at Liberty's Kitchen are at-risk youth who apply to the program in order to receive job training.
8 Students get to eat fresh, delicious meals, and workers change their lives by getting the skills and experience needed to become self-sufficient when they complete the program.
9 Professional chefs guide and train workers at Liberty's Kitchen's café and catering business as well as in the school cafeteria. Participants go on to jobs in the culinary field and beyond.
Yesterday I gave you a peek at the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, and today you can take a look at another inspiring program the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Carnivale du Vin proudly support: Liberty's Kitchen. On my tour, Executive Director Janet Davas explained how this innovative nonprofit solves two problems at once by offering job training and employability skills for at-risk youth and providing fresh, nutritious meals to low income public school students. Take a look and you might be inspired to make a donation.
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