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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Rep. Page Cortez
(R) Lafayette; House Appropriations Committee

Representative Cortez was elected to office in October of 2007. He serves District 43 which encompasses south Lafayette, Broussard, and the Youngsville area. Upon his swearing in on January 14, 2008, he was appointed to the Insurance Committee, Appropriations Committee and Retirement Committee. He also serves on the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, The Energy Council, and the LA Property and Casualty Insurance Commission. Rep. Cortez is a
member of the Acadiana and Republican Delegations.

Page Cortez is a successful small businessman. He is co-owner and operator of Stoma's Furniture and Interiors in Baton Rouge and La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Lafayette. Before entering the business world, he was a teacher/coach for several years.

Page is very active in his community. He has served on the School Board of Our Lady of Fatima School and as a member of the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Commission. He has worked with Acadiana Outreach, the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana, The Children's Shelter, and the Games of Acadiana to benefit the Miles Perret Center for Cancer Services.

Page is married to Angela Stoma Cortez and they have two children, Matthew and Maria.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

Thank you to our sponsors!
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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