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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Rep. Karen St. Germain
D-Plaquemine

State Representative Karen St. Germain was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2003, and has served her constituents in District 60 for the past ten years. Representative St. Germain serves as the Chair fo rhte House Transportation Committee. She is also a member of the House Executive Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Joint Committee on Homeland Security. In addition, Representative St. Germain serves as a member of the Acadian Delegation, the Capital Region Legislative Delegation, the Democratic Caucus, and the Louisiana Rural Caucus. She is also chairwoman of the Atchafalaya Basin Sub committee, as well as of the Louisiana Woman's Caucus. She was also appointed to the Louisiana Fire and Emergency Training Commission in 2012, by Governor Jindal. Prior to her election into the Louisiana House of Representatives, she worked as a legislative aide for former Representatives Charlie Melancon and Audrey McCain.

Throughout her term, Representative St. Germain has been named Legislator of the year by the Child Care Association of Louisiana, Inc., the Louisiana State Troopers Association, the Professional Fire Fighters Association of Louisiana, and the Louisiana State Firemen's Association. She was also named Conservation Legislator of the year by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the National Wildlife Federation.

Representative St. Germain is married to Kenneth St. Germain, and together they have three sons. They reside in Pierre Part.

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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     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

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

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     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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