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George Rodrigue's Art Legacy Lives On In Louisiana Schools

Courtesy: La. A+ Schools

LOUISIANA A+ SCHOOLS:   Raising academic performance in schools is an on-going concern as better educated children will have more career opportunities, especially if they master subjects in Science, Technology and Math.  But Arts curriculums, which often don’t get as much attention --can actually help improve academic performance.   Wendy Rodrique, wife of Louisiana Artist,   the Late George Rodrigue – who was famous for his Blue Dog and Cajun art – she tells us about  a non-profit organization he initiated called: Louisiana A+ Schools   it  brings art  in  the  classroom.  "We're in our fifth year now, we've got 18 schools in the network and have just now opened the application process for the 2018-19  school year," explained Wendy.  Schools that are interested in learning more about the La. A+ Schools program can go to the website: www.APlusLA.org.  

Credit Courtesy: Rodrigue Foundation
Courtesy: Rodrigue Foundation
Wendy Rodrigue presents a self-portrait of her late husband, artist George Rodrigue during a visit to an Louisiana A School.

While people may assume that all schools have arts curriculum,  cuts to school budgets have affected arts curriculums.  Yet participating in such programs has shown to actually enhance learning.  La. A+ Schools focus is to integrate arts into other subjects.  "...that means every subject in school,  math, science, english, history...everyone of them is taught through the visual or performing arts," explained Wendy.  

Credit Courtesy: La. A+ Schools
Courtesy: La. A+ Schools
La. A Schools integrates art into other subjects like math, science, and English in participating schools.

And according to Wendy,  of those children who've participated in La. A+ Schools program,  interviews reveal a majority have improved their classroom performance. " Students say that subjects that they've particularly struggled with before,  they now have a grasp of ...particularly math and science," said Wendy.    Another aspect to the George Rodrigue Foundation is the annual art scholarship contest for high school students.  "George Rodrigue started in 2009 a statewide art scholarship contest for juniors and seniors in Louisiana high schools and to date we've given out more than $400,000 in college scholarships," said Wendy.

The deadline for entry is January 18, 2018.  To learn more about the Art Scholarship Contest –    RodrigueFoundation.org         For Louisiana A+ School Programs  APlusLA.org

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.