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Louisiana’s Early Learners | May 2021

In some Louisiana parishes, more than 90% of children enter kindergarten unprepared to learn. Statewide, the figure is close to 50%. Louisiana’s Early Literacy Commission says $15 million annually is needed to solve the problem. Currently $2 million has been approved for 12 pilot projects in urban and rural districts. New Orleans has put funding for early education in its budget. Federal COVID dollars are coming directly to the state’s school districts. Will they go towards literacy needs or to improve broadband connectivity?

Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Louisiana’s Early Learners” Wednesday, May 26th on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists will be:

Segment One: Parent Perspective

  • Catherine David, Parent
  • Tiffany Hamilton, Parent
  • Chris Moore, Parent

Segment Two: Early Childhood Educators

  • Santrice Bradford, Paraprofessional, Baton Rouge Center
  • Marissa Garner-Jones, Pre-K Teacher, Baker Heights Elementary
  • Kamille Watson, Assistant Director and Curriculum Coordinator, Early Learning Center

Segment Three: Early Childcare Policy

  • Libbie Sonnier PhD, Executive Director, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
  • Steven Procopio, PhD, Policy Director, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR)
  • Cynthia F. DiCarlo, PhD, Executive Director, LSU Early Childhood Education Institute
  • Bob Lansing, Director, Central Academy and Childcare

The episode features interviews with Charles and Stephanie James, parents of three early learners; and Sydney McPherson, a pre-k special education teacher in the Baton Rouge area.

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.

Our Panelists & Hosts: