Funds will be used to assist in summer reading program to reduce summer learning loss
MARKSVILLE, LA. – (Sept. 4, 2018) – On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Paragon Casino Resort will present a donation of $50,000 to the Avoyelles Parish School Board, on behalf of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. The presentation will take place at the School Board Office (221 Tunica Dr. West in Marksville, LA) at 5 p.m. The donation will be issued to the School Board for their summer reading program, “Every Student Succeeds When Every Student Reads.”
“We are proud to support the Avoyelles Parish School Board in their efforts aimed at improving literacy for students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade,” said Tunica-Biloxi Chairman Marshall Pierite. “Early education is a critical time for cognitive development in students. This contribution will not only help the children in our community but will enable us to reinvest in the future of our Parish.
The Avoyelles Parish School Board is working to improve the literacy skills of low income K-2 students. In order to give students the quality literacy development they deserve, the district focuses on four components with a summer reading program being one of them. The program will prevent or slow elementary students’ decline in performance over the summer. Through research conducted by the RAND Corporation, it has been revealed that elementary students’ performance falls by about a month during the summer, but the decline is far worse for lower-income students. In addition, summer learning programs have the potential to reverse these losses by engaging students in hands-on, exciting ways.
The district will offer a three-week summer reading camp beginning with the lowest performing elementary school and plans to expand in the future. For the remainder of the summer, the school board will partner with public libraries to allow students to check out books once a week and participate in the library’s summer reading initiative. Funds will be utilized to cover teacher salaries for the camp and to cover bus transportation.
“Thank you to the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and Paragon Casino Resort for this generous donation” said Superintendent of Avoyelles Parish School Board Blaine Dauzat. “These funds are essential for the continued development of our program which will equip students with the tools they need for successful futures.”
In addition to the School Board donation, Paragon Casino Resort made a donation to the Avoyelles Parish Justice Center and will also make a donation to the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury on behalf of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe. Altogether, Paragon and the Tribe will donate $150,000 to Avoyelles Parish entities.
“We are grateful and honored to partner with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe to support education in Avoyelles,” said General Manager of Paragon Casino Resort Jody Madigan. “We continuously strive to give back to our local community and this is an excellent opportunity to offer our support.”