Supriya Jindal helps Lindsey Hughes, a kindergarten student at Welsh Elementary School, with a learning puzzle using beginning sounds Monday during a visit to the school. Also shown are Keegan Grimes and Jasmine Darbonne.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:49 PM
WELSH — Christmas came a little early Monday for kindergarten students at Welsh Elementary School.
First lady Supriya Jindal, wife of Gov. Bobby Jindal, visited the school to donate books, learning games, laptops and other classroom materials to help students learn as part of her School Surprise Program.
“Establishing a strong foundation for our students to build upon is so very important,” Jindal said. “We all want to ensure our students master the basics of reading, writing and math.”
Through the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children and Louisiana Healthcare Connections, Jindal was able to award kindergarten classrooms at Welsh Elementary School with hands-on, interactive and educational supplies needed to master the core subjects.
“This means so much for our school and lets our students know that education is fun and important,” Principal Arlene Heinen said.
During the visit, Jindal stressed the importance of education and made it fun as she played learning games and read to one of the classes.
“You have to use these to become smarter than you already are,” Jindal said.
In addition to the classroom materials, Jindal also presented books to the school’s library. Students were also given coloring books, special pencils and trading cards from the governor.
“Always remember learning is fun,” Jindal said as she lead students in chanting “learning is fun.”
Afterwards, Jindal told local media it is a true passion for her to make school fun for the students and provide them with the learning tools they need in the classroom.
“These are items teachers requested so they are coordinated to each style and need,” she said.
“I hope the students realize the value of a strong foundation,” she said, noting that most of the materials focus on math and reading.
Jindal said it is wonderful to watch the students’ faces light up when they use the materials in the learning centers.
Kindergarten teacher Mikki Marquart said the students appreciate what the Jindal Foundation was able to do to help enhance their classroom environment.
“It is going to help us in our learning centers — like learning our letters, numbers and beginning sounds,” Marquart said.
Jindal’s visit was the first time a first lady has visited the school, according to Heinen.