Jul 11, 2014 6:27 AM by Steven Albritton
The arts, whether it's music, painting or one of the performing arts, are all a part of our culture here in Louisiana. With budget cuts happening in education across the state, The George Rodrigue Foundation is working to make sure teachers get the training they need to keep art in the schools and making an impact on students. The goal is to engage creativity using A+ Schools program.
"Well the arts teaches the students about creativity and how to really use imagination as a skill set. And that's a quality they'll need for the rest of their lives no matter what field they go into. Whether their an engineer, a lawyer, or a doctor even a teacher. They've gotta be creative and have those skills to think out of the box to solve the problems of the 21st century," Executive Director of the Rodrigue Foundation Jacques Rodrigue said.
Jacques Rodrigue is the son of the late George Rodrigue a world renowned artist, and is helping push this initiative into Louisiana schools. They give teachers one-of-a-kind tools for their classroom.
"These teachers come to us, they don't know what to expect, and it's a professional development like they've never experienced because we fully customize for exactly what these teachers and schools need. So, it's the only training of it's kind ever to happen in Louisiana," Rodrigue said.
According to Rodrigue, the research shows putting more arts into the classroom helps with grades, engagement, and even discipline problems.
"Dad (George Rodrigue) loved Louisiana so much and we're so happy that he put these programs in motion over five years ago and we can continue those in the future to really give back to the state that he loved so much," Rodrigue said.
Teachers in the program will go through a week long, intensive course on the campus of UL. Nearly 100% of the faculty of the schools participating this year will be trained. To keep the program expanding into more schools across the state, the George Rodrigue foundation will be holding a benefit right here in Lafayette. The highlight of the benefit will be an auction where you can bid on one of a kind paintings autographed by George Rodrigue, UL Head Football Coach Mark Hudspeth, and New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees.
It will be held on July 17th at the home of UL President Dr. Joseph Savoie. It's $125/ticket and all proceeds go to the Louisiana A+ program and the Rodrigue Foundation. For more info on how to get tickets or get your school involved with the program head to the George Rodrigue Foundation website.