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Support for Local School Students

Opening Doors works during the school year with Wildwood Elementary School by providing school supplies and uniforms to needy students. Reading Buddies are also a valuable asset to those students who need individual attention with reading problems. Emergency assistance can also be provided for individual students. Opening Doors members, as well as members of St. John’s United Methodist Church, come in as needed to help with seasonal school events.

Lives in the Balance Training Program for Teachers

Opening Doors has provided training to a small group of teachers selected by the principal at Wildwood Elementary on a proven approach to reducing classroom disruptions. The program is described in the book, Lost at School, by Dr. Ross W. Greene. The program emphasizes that children want to please their parents and teachers. Their disruptions are due to “lagging skills” in one or more areas of development. An Opening Doors representative, who is a professional social worker, met with the teachers to help them learn the approach, practice it in the classroom and provide feedback on their results. The teachers focused on learning from the child what was happening when they started disruptive behavior rather than assuming they (the teachers) knew what was causing the disruptions. The trainer also provided communication techniques that could be used with the children that were not included in the book. The final meeting of the school year with the teachers was to view free resources available at the website Lives in the Balance. The principal of Wildwood Elementary will introduce this new approach to the entire staff for the 2016-2017 session, with the trained teachers used to conduct the training.

Principals interested in learning this approach can contact our representative, Don Fuller, at 225-766-1951.

Math Scholars Club

The Math Scholars Club began during the 2015-2016 school session and it met regularly during the school year. Studies show there is little encouragement for girls to become math scholars. The purpose of this program is to provide encouragement to girls attending the upper grades in elementary school to increase their math skills. The program was led by LSU math professors Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Smolinsky along with accompanying graduate students and coordinated by a representative of Opening Doors. Students met at 4 p.m. every Thursday at the Gardere Initiative located on 8433 Ned Street. Students were given writing pads, pens and pencils, and calculators. They were provided transportation to and from their classes by Lillie Anderson. In addition, the professors and our coordinator met with the parents to assure their continued support of the learning process and to provide access to resources for the students during the summer. The youth were very responsive, and they have proven they can quickly increase their math skills.

Persons interested in this program can contact our coordinator, Lillie Anderson, at 225-769-8812.