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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Kevin Pearson
R-Slidell, Chairman of House Retirement Committee

State . Rep. Pearson was born in 1959 and has spent his entire life living and working in the Slidell and Pearl River areas. He married Nancy Guillot more than 25 years ago. Nancy is an Honors English teacher at Salmen High School. Their son Adam is a student at the University of New Orleans, and daughter Rebecca is enrolled at LSU and lives in Baton Rouge.

After working in the financial services sector, Mr. Pearson opened his own company, based in Slidell. Wealth Management Group, Inc. was started in 2002 by Mr. Pearson, who holds licenses and certifications to serve as a broker and financial adviser. In 2007, he was appointed by Slidell City Court Judge Jim Lamz to a four-year term on the Board of the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center. He is the 2008 Chairman of the Slidell Heritage Festival, a role he also held in 2007. A past president of the Slidell Rotary Club, Mr. Pearson was co-founder of Rotary Rebuilds Slidell after Hurricane Katrina. He also serves on the Board of the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Leadership North Shore, of which he is a graduate.

Mr. Pearson entered the race for Representative from District 76 in August 2007, and won a spot in the runoff election in the Oct. 20, 2007 Primary. He prevailed in the Nov. 17 runoff, having earned the support of the third- and fourth-place finishers in the primary, Parish President Kevin Davis, and numerous other local leaders.

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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