• Kleinert Foundation

The Road to Innovation Podcast, Episode 5: Creating Common Ground with 4th Graders

Wesley Prep 4th teacher Lori Cousino sits down in this episode of the Road to Innovation to discuss how she brought in two local organizations to break barriers and stereotypes, and to explain relational poverty to her students, using food as the vessel.

Lori explains and delves into the process of creating 'Our Common Table' cookbook and the collaboration process with Bonton Farms and Cafe Momentum.

About The Common Ground Experiment: 

The Common Ground Experiment grew out of a desire to combat polarization and marginalization in our community. Each year, Wesley Prep 4th grade students curate a new creative project with someone new, and each year our circle of common ground grows.

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About Cafe Momentum

Cafe Momentum is a nonprofit restaurant which provides a 12-month paid post-release internship program for kids coming out of juvenile detention. The internship starts with a 2-week orientation at which time interns are connected with case managers to address basic urgent needs, establish a baseline of stability in their lives and set personal goals. The interns work their way through all areas of the restaurant, learning legal employment, social skills and life skills. Case management works to round out the ecosystem of support including; financial literacy training, parenting classes, educational assistance and career exploration. Case managers help to work through issues such as anger management, trauma recovery, fatherlessness and abandonment. After 12 months, successful interns are able to graduate from the program and are placed in a job with one of our community partners. These young men and women, who the juvenile justice system has referred to as “throw-aways” are now employed, tax-paying, wholly contributing members of society.

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About Bonton Farms:

What started out as a garden in a small lot has grown into two fully functioning farms and the Bonton Market. We grow organic food and hope for a better tomorrow, right in the Bonton community and on a separate 40-acre farm south of Dallas. We’re determined to grow the best-tasting, healthiest produce in the city while inspiring hope in everyone around us. We also house free-range chickens, goats, turkeys, rabbits and beehives that provide an abundance of fresh eggs, milk and honey.

To learn more, please visit:

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