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E2C Meeting 06/20/23

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

Coalition Meeting Notes

Casey Phillips

Welcome everyone to the space. This is obviously our first monthly, in between the in-person meetings so this will be a work in progress. Jan Ross, that will come as no surprise to you.

And you are very familiar with the flavor of as we build as we go. However, the reason why I lift that up, for this space is we just did our first in-person convening. There is still a lot of groundwork that we need to do to get clear on our goals and the milestones to get there.

So the idea is that these monthly check-ins will ultimately continue the momentum of the work that happens when we come together on a quarterly basis. And in this, we actually need to be very mindful in moving forward. And we'll kind of talk about what today's focus is going to be in a second.

First and foremost, as a couple of you have already done, please continue to put your name and what org you work with, but more importantly, put your email address in there as well. So everybody can kind of connect with one another.

The second thing is the ground rules for engaging in the space. The only thing that we ask is if you speak to go ahead and pass the baton, as they say, the conch. If you're, you know, all the literary fans, let's give the space for other people's voices to come up before you jump back in.

That's all. I've been the person in this space before where I've double-talked and I hate myself when I do that. So it's a, let's try to bring up space for everyone.

We're gonna jump right in. Obviously, we circulated the notes after our last meeting at the Goodwood Library. Thank you all to everybody that came to that.

And, thank you to our co-chairs, Adonica and Dustin and Tonnisha for a great job facilitating. Obviously, Adonica and Dustin during the summertime, their schedules are a little maxed out and they send their support and love. And they could not join us today, but they did a great job facilitating it.

So when we sent out all the meeting notes, I wanted to just give a moment and an opportunity to anybody on this call that received those notes, and if anything, anything really stood out and you already had it written down and you were waiting for the opportunity to speak your mind. This is that moment.

So open-channel for anybody that was in the space at the in-person meeting, anything that came up for them, or anything that you read in the notes that you wanna lift up in the space or get clarity.

So Tonnisha, What's, what's something that came up for you as said, why everybody kind of gets grounded in the space. What are some things that came up for you in our first in-person meeting?

Tonnisha Ellis

The need to align education more to businesses and then allow education, allowing businesses, a space to be a part of the education journey. Mm. And you feel that there's a pretty serious disconnect at this point? Yes. There's a serious disconnect between what needs. What the business needs are and how they can partner with education.

I do think that businesses need to be more innovative in how they reach out to schools and on both sides. There needs to be willing to listen.

Casey Phillips

And that really, that drills down into the goal on the, the goal number three on the alignment, um, of, you know, education and workforce. So obviously you are speaking a truth that seems to be wildly, um, wildly there, bridging that gap between education and industry.

And that's gonna be something that we spend quite a bit of time with, um, as we move forward together. Thank you for that, Tanisha, uh, crystalline.

Hello? Yep, that's right. Come on off mute my friends. Um, because I know that you even had to leave early before you lifted your voice up on some of the things, what was some things that came up for you?


So one of them was the lack of knowledge that most companies have to create a learning space for students once they are assigned to the job arena. So that maybe there's a need to. Create like a program of support to help businesses, place students in a way where they can learn more than just filing and answering phones.

But, you know, learn the soft skills, learn how to connect, and also learn how to apply the things that the company, the space that the company's providing them to wherever they go. And then two, again, as Tonnisha was talking, connecting our students with opportunities and also not forgetting that they go home to families who are disconnected.

So to remember that there's a family that we have to foster and cultivate as well. So educating the parents and the caretakers as we educate and extend those opportunities that students, we need to remember their families as well.

Casey Phillips

Mm. Thank you Chris. I appreciate you. And, uh, that's again, I kind of feel like both, a lot of that comes in under that third one on the lining of the education to industry, especially inside of what these young people are doing inside the spaces.

So thank you for that. The other one that, we spent a lot of, lot of time on Goal # 2: “Utilizing schools as community hubs and centers”, right? And there was some pretty robust conversations on some of the obstacles that, you know, were identified that come through that.

The reality is, is that using what's already there is something that seems to be really important at using assets that are already, there seems to be something that's really important to everybody.

And Jesse, I know that you were at that table and as an administrator with a, you know, with a, with the, the Discovery School, what were some of the things that came up for you around that conversation? Well, thanks Casey. Just, uh, thinking about, um, current models that are in place. I mean, there's some, uh, Good organizations that have, uh, existing models in place where, uh, they're serving as hubs in the community.

So, um, making sure that we're lifting up, uh, those as, um, you know, exemplars, uh, so that others can really follow because the blueprints kind of there is just adding to, um, you know, those different opportunities that are there. Thank you Jesse and uh, Jasmine, I don't know if you can come off mute, um, but there was a statement that was made, and I believe it was lifted up by you that said, BRAIN is building the structure into school access in the afterschool program.

Did you maybe wanna speak on that?

Jasmine Johnson, BRAYN

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, we started this process with EBR last year where we created this model for strengthening school community partnership. In that, we are requesting from EBR that the sharing of facilities be a service that they would provide to programs.

We are using some of our BRAYN members to pilot this model, which includes exactly what Jesse is talking about. Like there are programs that already have relationships that are working well in. EBR. I think that same model can be replicated for community organizations as well as other schools.

I really think it's a model that can be implemented, you know, beyond EBR.

Casey Phillips

Mm-hmm. Thank you, Jasmine. I appreciate that. Anybody else want to kind of speak on that, on that particular, using schools as community hubs of activities, that Jesse and, and Jasmine just gave?

So that's goal number two, and we're really gonna dig in on goal number two on the next monthly Zoom, um, around the facilities.

And I'll explain why in a second. The fourth goal was around community outreach in events and expanding awareness to access to equity. Equity, childhood education, and equitable childhood education. I feel like as we come together in our working groups in the next in-person, we really need to drill down and get a little bit more clear on that goal.

It's a little squishy and it's gonna be very difficult to lay out milestones and KPIs to something that's squishy. So we're gonna circle back around to that one in the August convening. But for today, I really want to hone in on equity and access, and I'm gonna read the words as they are. The E2C goal for number one is to create a culture that values literacy and increases literacy rates.

Right? And in the spirit of, you know, the mentoring of my friend Maxine Crump, you know, over the last 15 years of my life, one of the things that came up in our, kind of like our debrief after our last meeting was it's gonna be very difficult to work on literacy if we don't actually all have a working definition of what literacy is.

Right. And you know, Helena had a really good point. She was like, is this, you know, are we talking about literacy or before everyone's in third grade, are we talking about adult literacy? Are we talking about digital literacy or are we not talking about digital literacy? So I just wanted to kinda spend the moment, To see anybody who is on this call that would like to give their definition of what literacy actually means and what those literacy rates that we would be wanting to measure are.

So please just raise your hand if you'd like to speak, or you can put it in the chat. I'd rather hear your voice though it, as always, for those that don't know me, uh, Uh, I prefer, um, I prefer voluntary, uh, but you know, I do know many of you and be ready. Uh, I might call on you and I love you for it. Yeah. So don't get mad at me. Esperanza, what you got?

Esperanza Zenon:

Yeah. So, in my mind, um, I'm, I'm thinking that is the ability to utilize information in a way that allows, you know, functionality, right?

Um, in whatever space that might be. Whether that's. In a elementary space, you know, or, or, you know, workspace, wherever it is, it's whatever information pertains to whatever you're trying to accomplish.

Cool. Thank you. As bronze. I appreciate that. Who else? Perry. Terry?

Perry Sholes

Yeah. So, um, you know, our work is in the, uh, college space, so we're dealing with college students, so. Um, what we see is illiteracy. We try to address just around using Microsoft Office, uh, that there are so many students that we encounter in some cases that don't know how to navigate that. And if they're going into really a higher paying, higher wage job, that's the price to entry.

And so to me, that speaks to literacy around. Just using something that's basic as, as, as a Microsoft Office suite. So yeah. Thank you for that, Perry. Appreciate it. Who else? Casey, can I go next? Of course, Jasmine just, yes. So, um, when I think of literacy, I think about the basics. Um, literacy is, I think by definition, knowing how to read and write.

I think when we start speaking of the area, the other areas, it's more of like confidence in a specialized, you know, skill, um, but without the basic knowledge of how to read, write, and comprehend information. Um, you know, your success in, um, achieving competency in other. Areas is limited, right? We see that with, you know, testing and, um, so many other things.

If you, if you can't read and write, then read and write the instructions, then, you know, how do you then comprehend something like, um, like Microsoft, uh, I'll just use that as an example because it was just shared. So in my mind it is all, I guess it is foundational. Um, So I, I would think, you know, liter literacy when it comes to the third grade and under, I can't remember what the stat is, y'all.

I'm sorry. but yeah, being able to read and write by third grade, I really think it should be the, you know, that's what comes to my mind. Thank you, Jasmine.


Hey, y'all. So I just watched yesterday, the right to read. Film, if you all haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. And one of the things that was said in that film that struck me, there was a guy and he was like, look, you know, if you lived in the Bronze Age and you didn't have any bronze, where would you be?

If you lived in the Gold Age, you didn't have any gold, where would you be? Well, we live in the information age and kids who can't read, can't access information. And in Baton Rouge, only 35% of our kids are reading at or above grade level. In third grade, which is the last year. When they get taught how to read, then they have to start reading to learn, right?

We have such a foundational literacy problem where we are not setting kids up for the futures that they and their families want for them. We have to address that. I totally agree with Jasmine about this being foundational and just about. If you can teach the kids how to read, then you can teach them everything else.

Thank you, Liz, and thanks for lifting up that research. I mean that resource, the right to read.

Thank you, Crystal. So I just wanna add that we have to also keep in mind that while we're teaching our kids and investing in our kids on literacy skills we have to help to cultivate a literacy-enriched environment at home.

Because the more interactive, um, our kids can be at home in that space, more advanced, they become, if you look at siblings who are, um, either multiples or back to back stairs, steppers, they develop their communication skills at a higher or faster rate because they have, um, people in other individuals to interact with.

And we watch the movie, um, gifted Hands. Um, about, uh, our doctor whose mom was not, didn't get that far in education, but she pushed the value of it and she enforced literacy skills at home. It's what accelerated him and his brother to, you know, Excel. But, we need to also, as we are developing these literacy programs, remember that we need to supply and educate our parents on how to be supported.

In this at every level, and that you don't have to read beyond the grade level that you know how to read to create this space for your kids to surpass, um, where you stop.

Thank you for that. And I see, um, before I move on to a couple of the things in the chat, does anybody else wanna lend their voice in helping define what literacy, what literacy is? Uh, but more importantly, again, create a culture that values literacy and increases literacy rates. Hey, Casey, I'll, I'll add something here, shall I'm into the group and.

Essentially reinforce some of what's being said here. Yeah, just the, from a definitional perspective, it is about reading and writing comprehension, but I would add something else to that application, right? Knowing is not doing. So there’s an effort there's a desired outcome. We want people to be different based on, consuming, being able to consume information.

And then it, it's certainly age specific. So in our community, where I'm physically located, I got to have to find the resource, but there's a resource that's available to help, um, younger people, uh, be ready for school when they're five years old. And I think it was developed in Tennessee, but our school board is using that and sharing it with families.

What happens is, most underrepresented or underserved communities get behind before they ever get in school, and when you start behind, it's difficult to catch up. So this toolkit, and it is a, it's like a reading and writing toolkit. Helps to make sure that the students are ready on day one. If you're not behind in kindergarten and first grade, you've got a better chance of staying up, keeping up as you go further.

So, so catching those younger folks early on matters. And then there are different types of literacy like we're talking about here. I mean, there's the foundational one that's about reading and writing. There's financial literacy. You've worked with, um, older students around that. As you get older, it's important.

Tony Robinson

There's digital literacy. There's, there are all kinds of literacy. So, you know, perhaps it's the solution is more around a matrix approach, but getting back to that foundational definition, yeah. It's the ability to rewrite, comprehend, and then apply those things that you've consumed.

Casey Phillips

Right. Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Robinson. I appreciate you and, uh, I'd like to throw that doctor of respect on the front of your name, but he prefers to go by Tony. So when we're talking about, this is the group, and I'm kind of scanning the Zoom chat. I mean, not only just the Zoom chat, but all the participants, you all have a tendency to be very outcome-oriented human beings, right?

You have a heart for people, but at the end of the day, it's like, how do we know if it's working right? So, You know, from the meeting one of the areas that I thought there was a lot of improvement, room for improvement, an opportunity for improvement is to create solid goals for the education to career coalition around this, around this particular goal.

And, you know, the, the goals that were stated were super, super large and broad, and I would love to get y'all's help to really like hammer these and get 'em a little bit more finite. You know, one of the potential goals under, I'm sorry. One of the potential, uh, milestones under this goal was to increase Louisiana's education ranking.

Now, I believe that most of us are working on this in one way or the other, right? And so I'm not saying it's not applicable. I just don't know if moving from 48th to 41st. I think is what we were in the last rankings that anybody could say that the Education to Career Coalition was responsible for that.

Not that it matters who gets the credit, but you kinda get my point that that's kind of a big and broad one. Another one that was thrown out was bridging the gap between parents and students for educational success. Again, I wholeheartedly that's a like-hearted statement. I love it. I just don't know if that's actually something that could be defined.

So I saw in the chat and I didn't recognize the name, so forgive me if you'd like to come off mute. Um, and say, you know, one potential milestone could be the number of fourth graders that are reading on level. If we've done the work from pre-K all the way through third and given ourselves that extra year, um, that's a defined milestone.

Does anybody else have some milestones that we could actually measure success if this, if this collective work works? That we could push towards, I should say too.

So I need the solution-oriented sides of your brain, right? We have, we have observed the problem. We have described the problem. We know our literacy rates are too low. We're starting to work with a, you know, a common definition of literacy. So what do we start pushing towards, around this goal?

It would be interesting to assess the level of individuals when they participate in the program at the beginning and seeing if there's a significant change at various time periods. Right? So if the program is, uh, for, for why period of time, understanding if there's a change there. Um, engagement is another metric.

Now, it's not directly related to the outcomes, but people aren't going to change if they're not engaged. So having a way of understanding, um, if there's some engagement, uh, measuring the number of partnerships, right? The coalition, the number of individuals who are, um, actively participating from a leadership perspective.

It's important, uh, quantitatively, but maybe more qualitatively so that we can tell that story. Look, the, the numbers matter, but it, but they're, as you know, Casey, there's a qualitative and quantitative way to, to determine, how well we're doing. And then, I think focus groups would be great at the end to understand.

How well do you think that we did and, and what, what would you like to see done differently from the perspective of, um, the people who are attending, maybe their parents and or some of the people who are implementing? Uh, some of the plans. So there, there are a handful of things that we can measure. Uh, not all of them are directly tied, uh, to specific outcomes, but the assessment piece is we can measure how different you are from the beginning, uh, to the end of the program.

Hm. Awesome. Thank you, Tony. Great. I, I mean, great suggestions. Thank you. And also in the chat for everybody. I don't want to ignore it there. There's great stuff in the chat. Anyone else like to have their voice heard?

I think, uh, highlighting the different intervention that's taken place for those that are struggling, uh, with reading, um, you know, what's happening, uh, specifically with those that are, uh, either coming in behind, um, or, uh, just not where they should be at a certain grade level. What's working well and how can we replicate that.

Mm-hmm. Awesome. Thank you, Jesse. Jamie, I'm, I gotta, so Jamie, this is the part of the program where I call people on. So with the work that you, that you've been doing with Propel, I have to assume that by the time that you are working with these, with these young humans, If they have fallen behind in literacy, that has got to have somewhat of a detrimental impact on y'all's ability to, to create those pathways to success.

Can you kind of speak about how, with your work, um, what are some milestones that we could maybe put forth that would help move people towards where your program is in physician people for success?


Yeah, Casey, for sure. And just for context, propel America works with. 18 to 24-year-olds, um, right now since post covid, still like 18 to 26, 27, and help them get into certification programs, particularly in the medical field.

I think the biggest thing that our coaches and myself have, have worked with students on to improve, just like even once they apply to us, like help them through the pipeline, is understanding how to go about applying for schools and understanding the. The messages you get from BRCC or our online training partners and how to interpret that information, right?

Like that reading comprehension and like, here's what I need to do. Um, and even the online learning stuff and kind of understanding assignments. So how I think I'll, I'll pose a question to answer your question Casey, but at the high school level, having discussions about like, how do you apply for college?

Like what does college literacy look like?

Participation in online learning at the college level look like there's such a massive gap. I think for high school students, particularly, I work a lot with rural students and taught at Lavonia in a rural parish, like how do they bridge that gap from not really having a lot of online experience or high-quality online learning to this college world wherever they go, whether it's community college, whatever, but where they're expected to.

Know immediately exactly what to do, even to enter college, right? Like even to get enrolled. Um, and that's what our coaches and I spend the most time on, I think. Thank you for that perspective. Thank you Jamie. And thanks for smiling when I called on you and not magically disappearing off-camera.

Appreciate you crystalline. One more time.


Sorry, Ms. Laz. Yeah, there you go. So I, I would like to, um, dive in more with, um, providing support and training our teachers on how to cultivate a literacy-enriched atmosphere. Because a lot of times some of the skills are, are low because there's not an interest. Kids are not engaging because they don't find it applicable.

In the world that they're in. And as we are serving inner city kids, uh, the majority of our kids are in survival mode as when they come to us in the classrooms. And so we have to learn how to bridge the gaps. So most of our teachers are amazing, um, at teaching the skills of literacy, you know, grammar, um, understanding how to, uh, decode a question and apply what you've read.

But I'd like to see more resources provided for teachers. To make the connection between the child feeling like what they're doing is applicable in the, in reaching the opportunities that we're providing. Because I think that's a key, like just all the years that I taught in inner city, the way I got my kids to engage was to make it applicable to them.

To make them want to know, why do I need to read this? What, what does this mean for me in this moment? Um, and not just recognizing words, but how can I apply this and what's happening now and developing each year as I go on and matriculate through school? Yep. Thank you for that. And, um, that, that's the front line.

Right. Um, that's the frontline and that's the environment that it, that all the magic happens. I'm gonna shift gears away from the, and before, and we have like two more minutes on this and then we're going to the next thing. But Ms. Gray, with your work with Mid-City Redevelopment, right? Um, whether it is around, you know, workshops, you know, to become, like homeowners and all the services that you all, uh, provide, how much is adult illiteracy.

A barrier in the work that you do?

Oh, well she, Lou, right as I called her, she dropped off. So Jamie is a good, uh, thanks for, thanks for not doing that as soon as I call, cuz I would assume that Everything that MCRA is doing, um, all the wonderful services they provide that must be made, that work must be made exponentially harder, um, when the human beings that they're working with are having that as an obstacle.

And I just really wanted to kind of speak to the experience of that. Does anybody else have anything to share that they'd like to lift up the literacy front so that we're taking all this down in our notes to get it to our co-chairs, but anything else that y'all wanna bring forward?

All right, Casey. Well, I just, yes, go ahead, Leslie. I would just say to your last question, which I know wasn't for me, forgive me, but you, when I was at BRAC, uh, businesses told us all the time that their entry-level workers would come in and they didn't have the foundational literacy and numeracy skills in order to be able to be trained to perform job duties.

And so just the fact of folks showing up, you know, Not being at in this regard, it was around like a lot of industrial type of jobs. You know, coming in and not being at an eighth-grade level for literacy and numeracy skills. That's a huge barrier for a lot of families to be able to get a family-supporting wage.

Indeed thank you for that, Liz. And, um, I was actually, it was, it was interesting that before I, uh, threw the question to. Uh, Ms. Gray, I was actually gonna come back to Tunisia and ask if that's something that, that she's hearing a lot come up with, you know, with the Brock stakeholders, but you just, uh, you just kind of gave it to me, so I appreciate that.

Um, well that was my best, that was my best attempt at replicating the magic of Adonica, by the way, during that, uh, part of our session. So please gimme the grace because I'm not, um, as dynamic as Adonica in this regard, but I try to match her passion. Um, Okay folks, so I'm trying to stay on time so I can give you some of your life back if there are a couple of minutes to spare.

Um, but today, um, now that we have kind of talked about the four goals, um, Helena, if you could be so kind, is to just drop the working group, the list of the working groups into the chat as support for me, and I appreciate you doing that. Um, you know, we had our first in-person and now with the Zooms. Um, you have a kind of a general idea of the goals that we're pushing towards.

So now here are, is the list of the working groups and we were, we, um, Helena, if you don't mind coming off of, um, mute. Do we have the poll ready or is that gonna be sent after the meeting? No, I have a poll that's inside of Zoom and then I also have for anybody that needs more time to decide or wants to decide after the meeting, we'll have a, uh, external poll as well.

But I have it ready in the Zoom, so whenever you're ready. You're amazing. Yeah. Hey everybody. That's the amazing Helena Williams, if you don't know her already. Um, our director of operations. Um, Helena, if you could go ahead and put the poll, uh, the Zoom poll up. Yep. Just one second. Thanks so much. And so then this will really allow you all because, um, just to kinda give a little bit of clarity as well, because I see, um, Darryl Lewis is here today and I see Adam Barry.

And I see several people who have been engaged in the capital region, workforce ecosystem work. So just to kind of give some clarity, the difference between E2C and the capital region workforce, we're really going to shift the workforce, the capital region workforce to be just that, um, a network and ecosystem for the business sector, um, and also higher ed because we feel those two are just so closely aligned with one another.

Um, That they impact each other equally. And then really bringing the larger work around education, social services, wraparound, um, really into this coalition work. But, you know, lifting up some of the stuff from E2C into the capital region. So when you come into this space, this will be really the working groups that you will, you know, we're looking for you to commit to.

And all we need from you is really what you're, what's in your head. That's what's in your heart, what you have learned from the work, the ideas that you have, um, and to put those forward in the working groups. And if you want to take a larger role in E two C and become a co-lead in the working groups and really dig in more with Tanisha and Adonica and Dustin and the leadership team, that space is there.

I also wanna respect the fact that. You all are very busy, um, running, uh, your own initiatives and absolutely pulled in a lot of different directions. So, um, if you could just go ahead and take the meeting poll, um, which group you would like to be in. This doesn't have to be a forever and ever and ever.

And, um, you know, I said you can always, you can always change, but it will allow you to walk away from meetings moving forward, feeling like there are defined action items and there is work to be done. And that we're all pushing forward to stuff instead of just occupying space together. Uh, does anybody have any questions about the working groups and need any further definition?

Helena Williams

I just wanna add, um, with the external poll, you are able to kind of validate or officiate your answer. And also if you are interested in being that working group lead, you can kind of flag yourself as being interested. And as Casey said, This isn't what you're saying that you're interested in now, in now isn't permanent.

So come to the next meeting and you decide you feel like you're better placed somewhere else. You can decide that day of and join that breakout group. But this poll helps influence us to know where the highest interest lies as well. So, in terms of planning and facilitating these meetings, it's very helpful for us.

Casey Phillips

Awesome. Thank you, Helena. Any other questions folks?

Okay. Awesome sauce. So, looking ahead, um, just a couple of announcements. Our next, monthly, Zoom will be on July 18th, which is a month from today, give or take at 2:00 PM the focus will be, On twofold, we will really start dig, diving in on goal number two around the facilities being the school facilities, being able to be used as community hubs.

And number, number two, number three, goal of bridging that gap between education and the industry, specifically with a heavy lean towards the in-industry side. That again, will be on July 18th at 2:00 PM and the next in-person meeting will be on August 15th. Um, at noon at the downtown library. That is Tuesday, August 15th at noon.

And yes, we will be providing a delicious catered meal. You all are giving the gift of your time. We will make sure that there are vegetarian options. We will make sure there are carnivore options, and I will promise you it will not just be Jason's Deli or Rolly Polly. So everyone has to eat. Come to the space share in some fellowship, and then we're gonna break right into our working groups and get down to work.

It is a working session, and you will be able to leave with homework, from that meeting if you so desire, um, which means that you wanna be more involved. And if not, we appreciate you contributing your time and your talent. So those are the dates to put on your calendar. And with that, it is 2:38 for the remaining seven minutes.

Uh, this is an open floor for questions or announcements on anything that pertains to the realm of education and workforce and career. I appreciate y'all's time. Thank y'all for being a part of this process. As collectively, we unfold the new One Rouge model and, um, open microphone for anybody and anybody that needs to drop off to get to the next.

Thank y'all so much. I appreciate this space. Adam Barry, I know you got something to say. What's up man? I know you got it, didn't you? Thank you, Casey. Thank you, Fran. Appreciate you. I got nothing, man. This is awesome. I just, uh, you know, just being a fly on the wall on this one. So, uh, I think the group thing that's cool, dynamic and, uh, ready to get to work.

All right. Appreciate you, Adam. Appreciate you. All right, Adrian, by the way, what a fabulous time. I just wanna say, and thanks for, uh, thanks for being here today. Happy to be here and learning and excited for future opportunities to connect and engage. Indeed. Appreciate you 360 8 and beyond, and I have tell crystalline that I love her office or whatever it is that I'm looking at.

It's beautiful. Yes, I'm actually at my. Hm. Dining room table. So that's just my artwork on the wall behind me at home. But thank you. Speaking of an artful home. Oh, my Adrian. Oh, my what a, what a beautiful sanctuary. Um, no doubt. And I'm just going through the, the chat. Tristy, are you still there or did you chime up?

I think Tri Bounce. I am. Yep, she did. Fair enough. Um, I wanted to get a little clarity on some of her stuff. Liz, thank you for all these great milestones. I appreciate you. And whose voice have we not heard? Is there anybody that would like to share anything about their organization, their work, or anything that you heard today that we haven't heard from today?

I'm know, picking at me right guy. Maybe Kare Waheed. How, how are y'all doing this afternoon?


Uh, wonderful. Let me give you, Scared you, but that's me. Uh, I work with, uh, Louisiana Head Start Collaboration Office. Uh, for those of you familiar with Head Start, we're a preschool program. Head Start, a little different than it's state pre-K counterpart.

It's a more comprehensive programming that we also engage families in what they're doing. So literacy is very big on what we're doing. Uh, you know, we talked about literacy earlier. Uh, so it's very big on what we are doing, and it's one of the priorities for my office right now. So, uh, at our, at our, at our more recent conference, we had a book giveaway and promoter literacy.

We're working on something right now to do with local barbershops and encouraging and putting some books in barbershops, you know, to encourage reading when kids come through. Either have, uh, some of the older members, say for instance, at the barbershop, read for them or read to them, or have the kids read at the able, and then, uh, you know, allow them to take a book away from.

You know, with them. So we wanna encourage reading in that, in that aspect. But someone mentioned early and, and they're so right. We, for those of us who are in early childhood, we know that mapping takes place from zero to eight. So in that period, it's where we, you know, we have our greatest influence on the outcome of children.

So at that point, you know, that's why we said third or fourth grade that need to be, you know, reading. Uh, but it's not something we want to cram down their throat when they're, when they're preschoolers and so much, when they're toddlers, because, you know, those things are come. The most important thing is that they're socially, emotionally developed.

Uh, and then socializing with other people. So whatever form of, uh, whatever thing they become literate at, whether it's computers or, uh, just using the common vernacular or, or just reading and writing, like we said, uh, we want to enrich those environments, particularly for the kids we serve, because they come from low-income families, and that's the thing that qualifies them for headstart.

So we know that when a Head Start kid shows up for kindergarten, they know about 5,000 words. It's counterpart coming from more affluent communities know 25,000 words. So that's really the gap that we're trying to bridge. And someone mentioned literacy. Literacy is the key, the foundation to all of that, the more we can, uh, incorporate that into families and building not only the literacy skills, but the vocabulary.

It's very important. And that takes place on a level, like I think Ms. Laus or someone said, uh, the level in which that it takes place in the house. Outside of that, you know, the other, uh, interactions they have with other kids. And if you make those a reading and literacy rich, then it'll benefit the kids.

Uh, to a great degree and I'll stop just a second. One thing I just wanted to highlight too, and to talk about the career and workforce. Uh, we're working right now to make CDAs, which is the early childhood credential, more prevalent, uh, here in the state of Louisiana because in early childhood we are facing a shortage of, uh, workforce.

And so we're hoping that some schools in some community colleges would. Allow these programs to be taught in their schools as a part of their vocation program so that we could have young people as early as 17, you know, uh, participating in our early care and education workforce because people are aging out.

Uh, the income is a lot lower and people who work with young kids should have the capacity to get on floor floors and play with them at some point. So, we believe that if we could put these in schools, much like what we do with welding and some of the other things that would be a great support to our early childhood workforce.

And so, Childcare licensing has now allowed kids 17, uh, to work in settings, uh, with the proper supervision, uh, with someone who has their credentials. So, you know, a lot of this, what we're doing here align with what we're doing. And I'm gonna say this a bit here and I'll probably get thrown out after this.

When it comes to education in our state, uh, I talked about that mapping from zero to eight. And so the focus should be on what we do during those years, not middle school and high school. Because I can tell you as a middle school counselor, I found out that the work isn't done then it's almost impossible.

We don't like to say impossible cuz they could be upset. Exceptions, right? But again, that work needs to be done already. And right now we invest later instead of early in our kids' education and those areas, uh, in the state that I'm always call out the fifth district because the congressional district, because that's the greatest need.

So whatever we can do, To raise and elevate, what's taking place in those areas in terms of support and, and, and literacy and, and schools. Then, you know, we'll see the whole state as a result of that, you know, rise in the numbers that we see. So we don't, we have a tendency not to invest where the need is.

You know, we get the money to the people who have it already, so they become better at the expense of other low-performing schools. And we get the low-performing schools, families, and vouchers to leave those neighborhoods and go other places. So I don't see us building anything like that. So we need to, you know, look at that approach, uh, that we're taking.

Maybe look at the, uh, the mfp. I know that might start a civil war in our state, but if maybe something we need to look at is to invest earlier in education instead of later in education, I'll end it with that. You're not gonna get kicked out of this space, man. I said, thank you for being then showing up.

Not only, um, I was elated when you said that you were with Headstart because that is mm-hmm. Such an important part of this conversation to talk about the continuum. So thank you for being here in this space. And then, um, you know, I mean, you know, we've been running the math right? If you were pushing for the 15 per hour as mandatory, right?

Mm-hmm. Like, so if you really run the math right at $15 per hour full-time, that's only $22,000. When you really start doing the sub, adding the subtraction of housing, you, we, we have led at the walls internally. We have come, we have all roads have led to the following question, why even work? Why even work?

Why even work? Yeah. Why even work? Yeah. Because, you know, at this, at this point, you know, if you have to pay for childcare and provide, you know, pay for your rent, and even if you're making $15 per hour, especially with the slashes that the legislative la legislative just did around childcare, um, We are, we are cutting everybody off at the knees, uh, before anybody's even getting out the gates.

But that would probably, that would probably, that might get me kicked outta my own space, but likely I'm a mess. Well, yep. We start to support what we call that subsidized lifestyle, you know? And so, uh, you know, we want people to get out and, and feel the worth of earning a, a good living and feeling good about that.

And, you know, getting off some of the, the, the support. It's that, that, you know, that they probably just need a good, um, probably just a paycheck away from getting to that next level, you know? So we need to find ways to get them there. Even with Headstart, we know we have to have salaries that are, uh, competitive and make people want to come and wanna stay.

But when you work in these types of programs, it's just one of the challenges that we face. So again creating a younger workforce, we're hoping we can help supplement some of that need. Well, folks, we are two minutes over time and I promise not to keep you longer than 2:45.

The in-person meetings are an hour and a half. But these are 45, so please stretch, drink water, exercise, blow up a little steam after this call, and, uh, keep doing and fighting the good fight. And thank y'all for sharing space today. I appreciate y'all. Right. Thank y'all. Thanks for putting that.




Darrel Lewis

Tonnisha Ellis (Baton Rouge Area Chamber)

Adrian Owen Jones

Jamie McClung


Dr. Felicia Young

Jan Ross (Wilson Foundation)

Fran Harvey

Perry Sholes

Liz Smith

Camila Valenzuela


Jacquelyn Schulz Craddock

Esperanza Zenon

Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her)

Elizabeth Beckham


Jesse Watson# Ph.D.

Chrisdelin Lyles

Ashley Arceneaux

Helena Williams

Casey Phillips



14:00:04 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Welcome! Please add your name and organization to the chat

14:00:26 From Baton Rouge Area Chamber to Everyone:

Tonnisha Ellis - BRAC

14:01:10 From Jan Ross - Wilson Foundation to Everyone:

Jan Ross, Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation

14:01:15 From Jasmin to Everyone:

Hi everyone! Jasmin Johnson - BRAYN. I'm driving, so I'll be listening for the most part today.

14:01:29 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

Hi everyone!

14:01:39 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Welcome! Please add your name and organization to the chat

14:02:14 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

Esperanza Zen on River Parishes Community College

14:02:21 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

Elizabeth Beckham, Turner Industries Group, LLC / Workforce Development

14:02:23 From Kwahid to Everyone:

Kahree Wahid, Head Start Collaboration Office, LDOE

14:02:34 From Perry Sholes to Everyone:

Perry Sholes Career Immersion Leadership Institute

14:02:34 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Welcome! Please add your name and organization to the chat

14:02:35 From Jamie McClung to Everyone:

Jamie McClung - Propel America

14:03:16 From Perry Sholes to Everyone:

14:03:16 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

Replying to "Elizabeth Beckham, T..."

14:03:17 From Troy Borne to Everyone:

Troy Borne LDOE

14:03:19 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:

Tristi Charpentier - Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation -

14:03:21 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

14:03:24 From Kwahid to Everyone:

14:03:27 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Liz Smith - Baton Rouge Alliance for Students,

14:03:30 From Baton Rouge Area Chamber to Everyone:

Replying to "Tonnisha Ellis - BRA..."

14:03:42 From Chrisdelin Lyles to Everyone:

Chrisdelin Lyles

14:04:30 From BJ Bertucci to Everyone:

BJ Bertucci

Louisiana Community & Tech College System

14:05:08 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Notes from the last meeting:

14:05:10 From Corey Williams (BCBSLA) to Everyone:

14:05:11 From Jesse Watson, Ph.D. to Everyone:

Jesse Watson, Ph.D.

Discovery Schools (Baton Rouge Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy)

14:05:14 From Chrisdelin Lyles to Everyone:

Chrisdelin Lyles Project Manager of External Partnerships

14:05:30 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

Reacted to "Chrisdelin Lyles ..." with 👍

14:05:42 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

Removed a 👍 reaction from "Chrisdelin Lyles ..."

14:06:20 From Martha Moore_ LCTCS to Everyone:

Martha Moore

Louisiana Community & Technical College System

14:06:20 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Coalition Goals

Create a culture that values literacy and increases literacy rates.

Increase equitable access to safe learning spaces that encourage a joy for learning at any level

Expand awareness and access to early childhood education

Increase opportunities for continuous learning

14:07:56 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

Reacted to "Coalition Goals

Crea..." with 👍

14:13:46 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Ability to utilize information that allows functionality in a space

14:14:09 From Fran Harvey to Everyone:


14:14:39 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

some companies are moving away from office and embracing google business suite

14:15:03 From Jan Ross - Wilson Foundation to Everyone:

The ability, confidence and willingness to engage with language to acquire, construct and communicate meaning in all aspects of daily living.

14:15:15 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "some companies are m..."

They are modeled very closely so training in both is doable

14:15:21 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

At the simplest — reading and writing at grade level

14:15:23 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:15:27 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:15:32 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

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14:15:40 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:15:52 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Where do we “stop”? 12th grade level?

14:16:07 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

Replying to "some companies are m..."

which would be the best of both worlds - builds on experience from K-12 on chromebooks

14:16:11 From Martha Moore_ LCTCS to Everyone:

Digital literacy is equally important today and it often goes hand-in-hand with reading and writing and calculating.

14:16:33 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

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14:16:38 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

14:16:58 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

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14:17:12 From Fran Harvey to Everyone:


14:17:25 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:


14:17:51 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

Love that analogy, Liz.

14:18:03 From BJ Bertucci to Everyone:

Literacy rich environment at home! Great point!

14:18:17 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:18:21 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

What does literacy success look like?

14:18:22 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:18:50 From Kwahid to Everyone:

I looks like 4th graders reading at level

14:20:24 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:21:37 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Replying to "Love that analogy, L..."

Came from Kareen Weaver, with the NAACP in Oakland

14:21:49 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

14:22:49 From Martha Moore_ LCTCS to Helena Williams(Direct Message):

Have another meeting beginning shortly.

14:22:58 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Reacted to "I looks like 4th gra..." with ❤️

14:23:13 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Number of Literacy events that we host/co-host

14:23:35 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

%age of students prepared for Kindergarten

14:23:43 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:23:48 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:23:52 From Kwahid to Everyone:

Invest were the need is greatest not least needed

14:24:00 From Jamie McClung, Propel America to Everyone:

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14:24:00 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:24:18 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "Invest were the need..."

Can you define that a little more?

14:24:27 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

Replying to "%age of students pre..."

Agree- I was thinking % at reading level in 3rd grade but perhaps earlier is better!

14:24:30 From Jamie McClung, Propel America to Everyone:

Replying to "Number of Literacy e..."

And I think setting a goal number for the year to try to meet.

14:24:53 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

%age increase of highly-qualified teachers in Title I schools

14:25:05 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "Number of Literacy e..."

# of partners are involved - how are we making sure different definitions of literacy are being met

14:25:30 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

Average ACT score for our schools reaching national average or even just a college-ready score

14:25:44 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:25:47 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:26:01 From Tristi Charpentier | HAWF (she/her) to Everyone:

Replying to "Number of Literacy e..."

I think these invites are good for spreading awareness, but events typically don't yield the gains we would want to make on literacy rates

14:26:51 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "Number of Literacy e..."

Correct, it is one of many vehicles. Engagement events are less about the actual result but more about culture building

14:30:16 From Ebony Starks-Wilson Foundation to Everyone:

There's a lot to be said for culturally competent learning materials

14:30:54 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Can application like that be prescriptive? Or does it require more nuanced methods? What needs to go into developing a training like that?

14:32:16 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

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14:32:45 From Liz Smith to Everyone:

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14:33:23 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Schools as community hubs/centers


Bridging the gap: education and industry - networking

Community Outreach (Events)

14:34:28 From Jasmin Johnson to Everyone:

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14:34:33 From Jasmin Johnson to Everyone:

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14:34:53 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

This is the external poll:

14:38:09 From Helena Williams to Everyone:


14:39:14 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

I will close the poll in 1 minute

14:39:28 From Fran Harvey to Everyone:

Thank you Casey!

14:39:42 From Tony Robinson to Everyone:

Thanks, everyone! Great meeting!

14:40:01 From Kwahid to Helena Williams(Direct Message):

Yes, we invest in schools and areas that are resource rich and under fund school that are deem low performing and allow vouchers to families to leave, taking resources away from at risk community schools

14:40:34 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

And now I have an official Alexis piece!

14:40:46 From Kwahid to Everyone:

Can you serve on more than one committee

14:40:53 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

Take care everyone!

14:41:24 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Replying to "Can you serve on mor..."

It is possible, you may want to stay to finish a project of a working group but bouncing around to find your best fit is totally allowed!

14:41:51 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "And now I have an of..." with ❤️

14:41:57 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thanks, everyone! Gr..." with 👍

14:42:02 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thank you Casey!" with 👍

14:42:14 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "Take care everyone!" with 👍

14:45:23 From Chrisdelin Lyles to Everyone:

With the early childcare licensing, will a salary minimum be a requirement?

14:45:42 From Adrian Owen Jones to Everyone:

Reacted to "With the early child..." with 🧠

14:47:59 From Elizabeth Beckham to Everyone:

thanks for a great call!!

14:48:02 From Camila Valenzuela to Everyone:

Bye, all. Take care!

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