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 Alexandria; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
Major production funding provided by Anne Ray Foundation, A Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropy. Engagement funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Anne Ray Foundation, A Margaret A Cargill Philanthropy.
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 and these Louisiana bookstores: Blue Cypress Books, Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop, and Garden District Books of New Orleans; Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs; The Conundrum, St. Francisville; and Walls of Books, Kenner.
Learn more about the Local Viewing Party for The Great American Read Here!
Louisiana Department of Education - Includes teacher resources
PRIME TIME, INC. – An intergenerational literacy program founded by LEH
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities - Web page
Adult Literacy Advocates – Helping adults improve their literacy skills in Baton Rouge
State Library of Louisiana - Includes Literacy & Reading links
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance – Assisting book sellers, publishers and authors in the South
Baton Rouge Community College - Workforce Development assets
Danny Heitman – Web page for journalist and Louisiana author
Louisiana Reading Association - Promotes and supports reading in the state
Cavalier House Books – Bookstore in Denham Springs
The Conundrum - St. Francisville bookstore