LRCE Appoints New Executive Director!

 

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Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, an education library and teacher training center based in Baton Rouge, is announcing only the second executive director in its nearly two-decade history.

Kyle Finke, who has been director of LRCE’s alternative teaching program, Teach!, is being promoted to the top job. He is replacing founding leader, Nancy Roberts, who announced this past summer she is retiring from the organization she founded in 1998. Roberts’ last day is set for Oct. 27.

LRCE sent out a news release Thursday morning about Finke’s appointment to the lead the organization.

Finke was selected by LRCE’s board of directors after a search. Finke said the board selected him as its executive director at a Sept. 19 meeting.

Molly Quirk Alexander, chairwoman of LRCE’s board, said in the release that she’s excited that Finke will be taking over and leading the organization to the “next level.”

“LRCE is a vital part of the education community and Kyle is capable of continuing the tradition of delivering high quality direction and service to teachers across the state,” Alexander said.

LRCE’s Teach!, which started in 2003, is one of the largest alternative certification programs in Louisiana with more than 1700 teacher alumni.

“I am extremely excited and humbled to continue the incredible education mission that LRCE embodies throughout the state.” Finke said in the release.

Before joining LRCE, Finke was the managing director of teacher leadership development for Teach For America South Louisiana. He has also held positions with the The New Teacher Project, which is an alternative certification program and an offshoot of Teach For America, and he spent seven years as a science teacher at Broadmoor Middle School in Baton Rouge. During his classroom days, he became a Louisiana Math & Science Teaching Initiative fellow through LSU’s Cain Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Literacy.

During Roberts’ tenure, LRCE’s library has grown from 5,000 to more than 110,000 titles at its office on Florida Boulevard. LRCE lends these titles to public, private and home-school educators alike. LRCE also offers regular teacher training in a variety of areas.

This article can be found at:

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/education/article_e13c7c08-b4e7-11e7-80f7-ffdc96a21f1f.html

 

Frogs!

Have you ever taught a lesson on frogs? If you’re an elementary teacher this answer is almost certainly yes.

Elementary teachers often have a unit plan at some point during the school year that covers classifying animals like mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Within that unit, a lesson on frogs is common because it appeals to both students and teachers.

Students love learning about frogs because children are generally curious about animals. Even for the ones who don’t like amphibians, there’s still an “eww!” factor that captures their attention.

Any topic that lends itself to a variety of lessons is going to be popular with teachers. A lesson plan on frogs and toads provides an opportunity to teach multiple scientific concepts like classifying animals, life cycles, food chains, and habitats all through just one type of animal.

Because so many different concepts can be taught using frogs, it makes it easier to find ways to differentiate the lesson plan. The LRCE library can support this differentiation by providing access to many types of resources related to frogs. We have big books, audiobooks, class sets of books, DVDs, pocket charts, foam models, and more. No matter what type of learners you have, we have something for you!

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If you’d like resources on frogs or any other topic, comment below or email us at info@lrce.org!

Banned Book Week Is A Reminder To Think For Ourselves

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Banned Book Week is September 24 – 30

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is no stranger to the banned book list. Ironic, since book banning and its more militant cousin—book burning—are practices Bradbury depicts as staples of an undemocratic society steadily losing its intelligence and humanity.

Bradbury vehemently denied that Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship, even though book burning features prominently in the story. He felt so strongly about this that he walked out of a university talk he was giving when students from the audience refused to concede that the book is not about censorship. According to Bradbury, the novel is a warning about the dangers of succumbing to the influence of television, and that the problem starts with the people, not the government.

Why was he so strongly against censorship as a theme?

Maybe he felt as if people were too focused on censorship so they missed what he felt was the main message. Still, it seems like an author would be thrilled to have written a nuanced piece of literature that seamlessly depicts multiple themes and sparks heated discussion.

Bradbury’s unwavering insistence on this stance is strange. It’s almost like a scaled-down version of censorship to deny so strongly that his book is about anything other than what he said it is.

He wrote it, so he’s right.

This argument is often used as a justification for Bradbury’s stance. If Bradbury says the novel is not about censorship then it’s not because he wrote it.

An author’s perspective is always interesting to note, but it’s not necessary to the work itself. We filter all art through our personal experiences and knowledge. This is what makes our connection to it so strong. It’s why a book can literally be life-changing. That connection doesn’t exist if we ignore our own interpretations—or even worse, actively label them “wrong”—in favor of the author’s vision.

A few years ago, the poet Terrance Hayes spoke at Southeastern Louisiana University at an event much like the one Bradbury stormed out of. He read several of his poems, and then had a Q&A with the audience. One student asked him to explain the meaning of one of his poems, and Hayes said, “I don’t know what it’s about. The poem belongs to you. I only wrote it.”

The reader’s experience is the only one that matters.

Literature facilitates learning and growth by allowing us to discuss our own interpretations of the text. If we blindly adhere to the author’s opinion, we miss out on a real connection to the story. And even worse, we miss a valuable opportunity to learn how other people’s experiences affect their understanding of a book.

Is Fahrenheit 451 about censorship? That’s entirely up to you.

Get to know us!

 

Ribbon cutting when LRCE started
1987 — Nancy Roberts developed a non-profit organization called “Friends of the Environment” that supported environmental education in K-12 schools.

start of library only 5000 in 1998
1998 — “Friends of the Environment” was developed into Louisiana Resource Center for Educators (LRCE) in order to provide broader support to teachers. LRCE opened with 5,000 items available to lend.

Grads of first Alt Cert

2003 — We were approved to provide an alternative certification program to train and certify teachers. Check out our first graduates from the program!

10th anniv logo

2008 — LRCE celebrated 10 years of helping teachers help children!

Ribbon cutting new building at 5550 Fl.Blvd.

2009 — We purchased our current building! We needed more room to accommodate our ever-growing library collection and teacher certification program.

RFS students

2013 — The summer enrichment camp, Reach for Success (RFS), was created to combat students’ summer learning loss and to provide practitioners in the alternative certification program with a chance to experience a real classroom environment.

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2016 — Find Your Future (FYF), a workforce development program for high school sophomores, was created to teach students skills such as writing a resume, dressing professionally, and successfully interviewing for a job. Over 800 students attended the workshops and career exhibit in 2016!

Why i teach signs

2016 — The alternative certification program was renamed LRCE Teach!. We produce an average of 150 teachers each year. Since beginning in 2003, we have trained 1,800 teachers!

Student aha moment

As of 2016 — RFS has helped more than 1,000 students combat summer learning loss in a fun, supportive environment.

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2017 — The LRCE library collection has grown from 5,000 items to more than 110,000 items. We’ve served more than 56 parishes in Louisiana and circulate 140,000 items annually!

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2018 — We will celebrate 20 years of service to the teachers and students of Louisiana!