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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Donna Curtis
Executive Director, “Shreveport Green”

Donna Curtis is the Executive Director of Shreveport Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the city's environment and enhancing its economy through public education and community beautification, litter abatement, and recycling projects. Donna volunteered in Beautification efforts for 10 years before joining Shreveport Green in 1990.

In December, 2001, Donna was recognized with the national Keep America Beautiful Professional Leadership Award. She is also currently serving on the board of the National Alliance for Community Trees as Past-President, a national organization for tree stewardship. She chaired the 1998 and 1999 All-America City award efforts that resulted in Shreveport winning the 1999 All- America City designation.

Since Shreveport Green’s inception in 1990, the affiliate has increased its annual
budget from $35,000 to over $800,000 in 2011. They have won 17 national awards
including seven First Place Keep America Beautiful (KAB) National System Awards, the National Tree Trust Branching Out Volunteer Award in 2000, KAB National Youth Group Award for ShrevCORPS, four Louisiana Urban Forestry Council Awards, and assisted a local middle school to win a first place award in the KAB awards program.

Shreveport Green has been instrumental in the city’s recycling efforts for 21 years and was one of the reasons the organization was founded. Shreveport Green has an annual telephone book recycling drive, which has served as a template for directory recycling nationwide with AT&T. The organization facilitated the first Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection in the area. Shreveport Green’s outreach and education in the recycling arena helped to build the momentum for the city’s curbside effort.

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?

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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