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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Cathi Cox-Boniol
ACHIEVE Coordinator, Lincoln Parish Schools

Cathi Cox-Boniol, currently ACHIEVE Coordinator for Lincoln Parish Schools, left a 17 year career as a secondary science teacher at Choudrant High School in 1998 to become the Site Coordinator for Louisiana Tech University's Project LIFE. While at Louisiana Tech, she moved into the Program Coordinator position for CATALyST, the university’s Center for Applied Teaching and Learning to Yield Scientific Thinking. Now forging community based partnerships through Lincoln ACHIEVE, Cox-Boniol has initiated both the STEM Satellite and STEM Seed magnet programs as well as a creative writing emphasis in partnership with Louisiana Tech and Grambling State Universities. In addition, she founded the district’s award-winning New Tech @ Ruston school, a 21st Century learning environment based around innovation, project-based learning, and integrated technology.

An instructor of online learning for PBS, she also serves as an online mentor for the national eMMS program as well as a judge for the national Innovative Teacher Awards program. Her pursuit of educational excellence for all students has garnered Cox-Boniol numerous awards and honors including Louisiana's High School Science Teacher of the Year, The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, and The Radioshack/Tandy Technology Scholars Outstanding Teacher Award. Selected to the inaugural New Tech Directors National Advisory Board where she served two terms, she was also recognized nationally with the Golden Achievement Award of Excellence for her work with ACHIEVE and most recently named among Delta Style Magazine’s “Sweet Sixteen” Most Influential Women.

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.

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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?

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How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

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     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

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