NAACP forum to focus on schools

The Lake Charles branch of the NAACP is hosting a “What’s Going on in Calcasieu Parish Schools” forum featuring Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus 6-8 p.m. April 23 in New Covenant of Faith Baptist Church.

Open to the public, Bruchhaus will make a presentathe floor will be opened for questions.

The Rev. J.L. Franklin, local NAACP president, said he hopes the forum creates an “open dialogue” between the superintendent and the public.  

The goal is to plainly address all issues, positive or negative, related to parish schools, he said. 

In keeping with the NAACP’s “Strategic Plan for the 21st Century,” the forum will emphasize the ways in which “every child will receive a free, high-quality, equitably-funded, public pre-K and K-12 education” in Calcasieu.

Rather than hearing about school changes, politics and procedures second-hand, Franklin said the forum will provide an opportunity for residents to hear “from the source” about their community schools.  

Many of the schools in predominantly African-American communities are under-performing, according to the state Department of Education.  

Citing Mark 2:7 — “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” — Franklin said he hopes the forum will shed light on how the School Board plans to support and propel low-performing schools.  

“As a community we must work hard at the bottom or we will pay for it later,” Franklin said.

In order for Calcasieu to truly grow, stakeholders must recognize the interdependence of all community members, regardless of location, he said. 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Franklin, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., said.

‘As a community we must work hard at the bottom or we will pay for it later.’ 

The Rev. J.L. Franklin

On struggling schools

      16a62026-a4af-11e8-8a6c-9360953a42652018-08-20T19:27:00Zsowela technical community college,education in the united states,culinary arts,darlene hoffpauir,culinary international,jerry sonnier,toronto
      sowela technical community college,george brown,canada,nicholls state university,marcus williams,george brown college,institutional advancement coordinator,toronto,doris fralick,thanksgiving,rachel montiville,food shops,louisiana
      news/local,newsSowela culinary students study in TorontoMarlisaHardingEducation Reporterhttps://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/c/0d/19e/c0d19e70-2d24-11e8-a86e-f3d9bd260968.4f437082063c8f49429c070902635588.png

      Sowela Technical Community College’s culinary arts program hosted its second ever study abroad opportunity this summer. Students were required to apply and submit an essay for consideration into the program and Darlene Hoffpauir, institutional advancement coordinator, said, “Length of time to diploma completion is much shorter at Sowela, so that’s why we look for the cream of the crop students to attend. They only have one chance for this opportunity.”

      A group of ten students were selected to travel with Chefs Jerry Sonnier and Rachel Montiville to George Brown College to experience a “Culinary International Odyssey Externship” in Toronto, Canada. Sonnier said Sowela selected Toronto because it is an “international city allowing students the opportunity to experience a variety of cuisines without having to actually travel to so many different places.”

      In Toronto the students learned local cuisines under the instructors at George Brown, travelled the city visiting specialty food shops and visited a winery to learn the art of local wine making. Montiville said the diverse excursions offered on the trip “helped students to really understand what areas of cooking or baking they’d eventually like to specialize in when they finish their program.”

      Doris Fralick, a third semester student, said cooking had always been a dream of hers though she has had a full career already as a retired hospital employee. “Cooking has always made me happy and I just thought I needed to give it a shot. Once I took a class and realized I had a special skill, I knew I needed to take advantage of an opportunity to travel to an international city and learn more.”

      Similarly, Marcus Williams, a third semester student, said, “I was never the kid watching the big game when it was Thanksgiving. I was always in the kitchen with my family wanting to learn a new recipe…Canada and my experience at Sowela has helped me to figure out more about myself as a cook.”

      Upon graduation, Williams plants to finish his bachelor’s degree at Nicholls State University in Culinary Arts. Hoffpauir said Sowela has a memorandum of understanding with Nicholls, as well as many other universities in Louisiana, which will allow all of William’s Sowela credits to transfer to the University leaving him with only two years to finish his degree at Nicholls.

      “What we do at Sowela really sets us a part as a technical college,” said Hoffpauir.

      ””

      Several Sowela culinary students participated in a program at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.

      Special to the American Press
      ””

      Several Sowela culinary students participated in a program at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.

      Special to the American Press

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