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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 204

Jiminy Cricket - we are speeding to the end of the school year! Prom Season is over. LEAP testing is underway. Last day of school and graduations are right around the corner. And that means the eternal question of “What y’all doing this summer” is upon us. 

The littles will likely stay at their day care so not much to shift for them. But summer camps are great ways for elementary school aged kids to keep learning. Summer jobs may be appropriate for the kids who have aged out of camp. Internships may be a good way to expose our young people to careers they might not have considered. And our family members coming out of post secondary may want to take a little time off before heading into work. 

With so many options, it is hard to know what the right answer is and where the resources are. Learn with us as we talk “Summertime in EBR” with our featured speakers:



 Casey Phillips: Thank you everyone for thank you everyone for being here, by the way. All of you amazing humans that I haven't seen in a while and some that I do.  Dominique, also welcome to the space. Christina, thank you. And welcome to the space for the first time, Sam. It's good to see you, Marcella. You're still standing after all that work at the Capitol. So congratulations on your insurance. In the spirit of debating the relevance of the Rolling Stones, we'll start this fine Friday with a thought that we won't have time to fully unpack, but I'm seeing Manny's here. I see Patrick's here. And the question is. What has been more influential on American and world culture, the New Orleans jazz scene or the New York jazz scene? I think it's a worthy conversation to have for another Friday. But I figured that I could get people a little riled up and at least awake and thinking on that conversation and appropriate during jazz fest and pepper, try not to explode. 

Pepper Roussel: I am already off mute and I've warmed up my listen. 

Casey: Welcome everybody to the video.

Pepper: Nothing exists outside of New Orleans and I don't know why it is that you keep trying to make other places real. Esperanza. 

Casey: That's fair. What's up Esperanza? 

Esperanza Zenon: Good morning.  Casey, you gon make me cuss you on the front of the board. What kind of frag a nackle BS is you talking about? 

Casey: I like to bring the same question to people too.  Was the Mississippi and Louisiana blues more influential than Chicago blues?  And you can get people equally worked up with that question as well. It's just fun that we're having on this Friday. And today is in part about fun, right? Fun is for the summer. We have a range of speakers today, so I'm going to go quickly to mute and there is a lot going on in the city for the summertime and fun can be defined in a lot of different ways. And that's what you're about to hear for people who pour everything that they do. Into offering opportunities for a range of human beings. So pepper, if you would like to start making introductions, let's get down to it.  

Pepper: Absolutely. Thank you. And thank you Esperanza. I don't know. Fragernacle. I do enjoy that word. It's almost like splendid, but it makes me giggle. I would argue that Louisiana, Mississippi blues are indeed Chicago blues because the chicken bone is the chicken bone train for a reason coming from New Orleans all the way up to Chicago. I'm just kidding. I was going to say because it needs to be said and otherwise the things that I'm saying are welcome and happy Friday. Thank you all for being here. You know how much I enjoy you spending your part of your Friday mornings with me. We have a full house and I am wildly excited about some of about the conversation that we're about to have. Some of the things that we'll be talking about today will range from in age from young ones to well, the ones who. Consider themselves adults, but they're not quite yet. Don't tell them because they think they are. And, it's just a thing. I'm just going to go down the list of folks so that that's here on my calendar invite so that I don't forget anybody. And because ordinarily I do last name, alphabetical order, but I think this might get me a little in trouble if I try to do that by missing a person or 2. If y'all don't mind. Amanda, where'd you go? You're first. You're first on the list. We will start with the good people at No? Yes? Maybe? Are you coming back to us? Fine. Who's next? 

Amanda Stanley: Am I here? Can you hear me? 

Pepper: I can hear you now! Fantastic! Alright Amanda, Sandy, please let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved. Your five minutes starts now. 

Amanda: Absolutely. I am Amanda Stanley. I am the Director for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which is the mechanism of EmployBR. EmployBR is empowering youth and adult citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish to further their career potential, either through education or job training opportunities. And sorry for the black screen of justice. My video camera's not working or else you would see my lovely Friday frog and maggle face. And specifically what I'm here today to talk to everyone about is our summer youth program. It's the Mayor's Youth Workforce Experience. And we have two different avenues for community partners and the citizens of East Baton Rouge to participate. We have a sign up for participants in the area that's for, that's students or young people, 14 to 24. They can sign up through the link on the mayor's work site, and I'm going to drop that into the chat. So they can go, they sign up, and then from there, we will do some eligibility checks and place them appropriately. Those guys and gals that would participate in our summer program have several different opportunities. We have work experience, where they're going to go to an actual employer,  and hopefully get some training, some mentoring, learn what it's like to be in the work site. There is also some IBC opportunities, industry based credentials, so those guys and gals that are interested in some credentials such as CNA, millwright, pipe fitting, we're going to have a variety this year. They can sign up for that. That'll be their work experience for the summer. So we have a lot of different opportunities for the youth for the summer. Now, the other way that we have for community partners is we are always looking for host sites. So we are looking for organizations and employers that can host one of our, one or two, of our youth for the summer. And what that means is if you were to sign up, we pay the youth, Whichever youth it is, we hold all the liability, the youth are placed at your site with a mentor, so somebody would have to be designated to work with them, and basically work with them to give them the skills about, hey, how do I go to work? What's the dress code? How do I show up on time? Do I, am I allowed on my phone? What's the protocol for this office? What are some of my duties? Just really trying to get those guys and gals those young people. Introduced to how to go to work the cultures of work. When do you take your lunch break? Can you eat on the job? Just different basics. That a lot of times you can't know until, you know so there's also a sign up for that. And I'll drop that in the chat as well. We have informational sessions. We will help you between us and Big Buddy. It's a partnership with Big Buddy. Between Employee BR and Big Buddy, we are going to help you mentor those kids as well. If you have trouble with them, let's just say you get somebody and they're not doing their part. You reach out to us and we're gonna work with that student to get them where they need to be. And to become eligible for the my workers, there's a form and and a host site information session. You have to. Attend I'm a drop the form into the chat that way. We'll know and we'll reach back out to you.  I saw that Aaron  I'm going to put it in there now  and it's just the information form.  I did it straight to Aaron, but I'm going to do it to everybody and we will follow up with you from there. All right. I hope that was my 5 minutes.  

Pepper: That was four minutes and 10 seconds. So fantastic. Well done you. But not to stand on ceremony. We will come back and talk about some more things and just going down my list.  Brian is next. So it looks like my calendar does first names or first initial of whatever email address is first and see some kids orchestra. We will punt. 

Samuel Trevathan: I will be actually speaking on behalf of Kids Orchestra this morning, if that's okay. 

Pepper: No, your name starts with an S, I dunno what to do with this.

Brian Gallion: I give my time to Sam. I'm actually in carpool right now, which is why my camera is off and carpool is starting in two minutes. So I asked Sam if he would actually speak about kids orchestra stuff this morning.

Pepper: No worries. I'm only teasing. I'm only teasing. Go ahead, Sam. Kids Orchestra, your five minute starts now. 

Sam: Good morning, everyone. My name is Sam. I'm the education director with kids orchestra. So our mission is to build a community of creative, confident and socially engaged students through music education. And our vision is to bring Louisiana together through music. In Louisiana, according to those after 3 PM reports that the after school lion shares. One of the reasons why we are bringing back our summer camp since the pandemic kind of had some things on hold for us. So we have an entire month of summer learning opportunities hosted at the Dufrock school in mid city, where we have capacity for around 50 to 60 students a week and that is for various arts and music programming. Our very first week is music and technology. That's a chance to gear up and electrifying an adventure where music meets technology. Week two is music and movement. Week three is musical storytelling. Week four is the science of sound. Within all of those three themes each week that is offered for kindergarten through sixth grade students. That's Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's a full day experience. Instruments are provided free of charge throughout the duration of camp and every week concludes with a performance. Within those offerings, the instruments that we offer includes violin drum circle that's led by an awesome drummer, percussionist every week and then so much more. That's a chance for us to provide an arts and music experience for any of those kids that maybe want more of that during the summer, or maybe they don't have arts and music as much as they desire during the school year. It's a great time for families to come try out an instrument for the 1st time. Maybe they're they don't have any offerings at their school. Maybe they're thinking about going into a band program next year. It's a great chance to check out an instrument for the 1st time. Within those offerings, we also partner with a number of schools, local artists and so on. So Dufroc is one of our partnered schools throughout the year with East Baton Rouge Parish School System. That's one of our host sites. So that's a highlight for us to bring kids to their site. Dufroc is a USDA summer food service program feeding site. So that's absolutely I see lots of, nods and love going up for that. So there is breakfast and lunch provided for our kids. But then we want to make sure that's a highlight that we're spreading out to the community that if you have any  people in the mid city area that need to know where that is, highlighting Dufroc, it's a great place to send those families and youth that are in need. We hire local musicians are awesome teachers and so many more to feature all of the great music and art happening in our area. Like our friends from minus the Saint the best friends band, Michael foster project, John gray and friends. Those are just a number of people we've had over the years that will likely be engaging again this summer, bringing those live performance opportunities to our community to kids, so we can inspire them, get them excited about the music and culture and learning about places like New Orleans jazz. That's something we really work to do in Baton Rouge. My vote is for New Orleans, by the way, but apparently we'll engage that on another Friday. In addition to that, it's just a great community building time. When we bring people in, we exchange who we are, where we're from. And it's just a big highlight for us every year. If you want to know more about arts and music in our summer camp, please reach out to us, share our message there. And then the last thing that I'll share kids orchestra, in addition to our summer camp, we provide. Services to other summer learning and summer camp. So if you are looking for musicians to be fused into your summer learning, or know people that might  be interested in some type of collaboration, we offer the chance to connect with teachers. We have drum circle, community building opportunities that can be connected to all different types of learning from young people all the 99 year age gap for drumming. So talk to us if you are interested engaging with us with some music this summer. Thank you.  

Pepper: Well done you. All right. That's exciting. So we're going to come back to all of the amazing things that can be done by partnering with Kids Orchestra. For now, we are going to move to Cree Matlock and YMCA, all right, you 5 minutes starts now, please let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can be involved. 

Cree Matlock: Hello everyone. My name is Cree Matlock. I am the district executive with the YMCA of the capital area. We are association with about 8 branches within the association. And we are excited to gear up our most busiest time of the season, which is summertime, that includes summer camp and swim lessons  and specialty workshops. So I'm excited to share with you all of those great things that we have going on. But I'll start with summer camp. So every year we host summer camp at. Our various locations and we this year, we're going to add specialty camps also to our specialty workshops. We're calling them workshops. That includes art, Lego, stem, and school ready kindergarten readiness. So I'm excited about those new offerings as well as our traditional summer camp that includes academic and enrichment opportunities, STEM projects, outdoor and indoor games. Of course, all campers have pool time and they learn about safety around water. So they're not just playing in the pool. They're understanding safety measures for being around water and then lunch and snack will be provided for free this year, free of charge at 3 of our locations. And then we also offer care to building experiences. Those are some of the great opportunities we have through summer camp. Also, we were awarded an amazing opportunity through the CDC. To offer swim lessons, and we're trying to capture at least 4,000 students up to about 4,000 students to offer these free swim lessons. And if they are students of East Baton Rouge, or even West Baton Rouge Parish schools, they can qualify to get a free swim lesson through the YMCA. So please share with families. And then also the YMCA some may not know, but the YMCA also have a swim team and that is open now for registration. So we would love for families to join the Y Swim team and compete across the city district.  And furthermore we also have a big event coming up. The Y is also really big about nutritional education and fighting against chronic diseases. We have a big event coming with a partnership with DaVita for kidney screening, and that will be May 10th. At the Exxon Mobil YMCA. So we definitely invite partners and even families to come out and get these free screenings. Oftentimes, people don't realize kidneys disease is tied to diabetes and high blood pressure and all those things. So if it runs in the family, please come out and get a free screening.  And we are always looking for partnership. Always. So I love to partner with the community. So if you all. For example, the kid orchestra. We would love for that to have a place in our summer camps as well. But again, we're always looking for partnerships and we would love the opportunity for more to join and the great work. 

Pepper: This is very exciting. Thank you, ma'am. Appreciate it. I will also say that I have long been a fan of the Y. They tried to teach me how to swim, but I did learn very, I learned how to float really good. And I'm just going to say it. It took many more years in order for me to actually get the swimming down. But there's already a question in the chat. Is there a cost for camp?  

Cree: Yes, there is a cost for camp. If you are a YMCA member, the cost is 150 per week. And if you are not a YMCA member, the cost is 210 a week  per child. But we also offer scholarships to families for those who may, may need some assistance for those costs. 

Pepper: Good, because the rest of the question is do you offer special rates to low income families or families in the foster system, custody of the state, that kind of thing.  

Cree: Absolutely.  Absolutely. So those specialty rights, it is on a sliding scale based off of income. But we do have those opportunities available. We don't like to turn people away.  

Pepper: Fantastic. All right. We are going to come back to more questions, but since that one was right there, figured we would do the, and you had an extra minute, might as well, right? Christina at Knock Knock.  

Christina Melton: Good morning, everybody. I'm glad to be in this group and to say hello and see everybody's beautiful faces this morning. I am the fairly new executive director of Knock Knock Museum. I've been in this role about a year now, a little over a year at Knock Knock. For those who don't know Knock Knock is a children's museum. Our mission is to be a community spark for engaging playful learning and experiences that inspire and support lifelong learning. We have a bunch of really fun activities and initiatives this summer. We have 3 sessions of summer camp beginning June 10th, the week, June 10th through the 14th. We have a great outdoors camp where we are. Going to encourage kids to get outside and dig in the dirt and play outside, which I know a lot of children don't have access to play outside, honestly. And our 2nd camp is a an art camp. That is June 24th through the 28th. These are from 8 am to noon every day. And then. Our steam camp is going to take place in our maker shop and in our backyard. That is July 15th through the 19th. We are also launching a new initiative this summer called play fit, which is going to be creative movement classes for. Three. We have two, two groups. Movers and groovers is threes and fours and jumpers and drivers is fives and sixes. And those are gonna be running in June of, on Wednesdays early in the morning and late in the afternoon. We have to do those after after our regular operational hours. We have also coming up a play for all on Sunday, June 9th, which is our free sensory friendly, inclusive hours for children with special needs and disabilities and their families. And it's free. You. We would like people to sign up, but that's not required. People can just show up. And so we've been rebuilding that program and having a lot of interest in that. That's been a good program. And then we're also just hearing everybody with their summer camps. We are, of course, open for field trips. If any of your camps are interested in coming for some, a few hours, just to. Change scenery up we would love to have people come. And I know many of you do already come for summer camps. For summer field trips. So we welcome everybody to that. We also have opportunities for volunteering for children, 16 and older. And then we are looking for play workers for those 18 and older. So we actually would love to have. Some young folks come in and help on the floor play with kids. That's really happy to answer questions.  

Pepper: That is phenomenal because I don't know. For those of you who don't have kids, they age out real quick of summer camps, somewhere around like 14, 15 or so, as soon as they can get a job, it's kicking them out of the nest, which is. Probably, not the best of times that people warming around with nothing to do. It's not like when I was little, I don't think. But because there was nothing but playing outside. And, I think we, that may have been where the term. You smell like outside came from different conversation we're gonna circle back to knock knock and what y'all have going on over there after we hear from Dominique at BREC. Where are you? Oh, there you are.  

Dominique Barlow: Hello, my name is Dominique Barlow. I'm a program coordinator with recreation. I'm excited about telling you about the opportunities that we have at BREC. We have a variety of specialty camps this summer, those camps until  different specialties weeks that will be having this summer such as. As a splash in week where we'll have swim lessons and all activities are related to water and swimming and they'll be going on some lessons for Monday through Thursday, the week that we have that also, we have a fit and fresh week and adventure week, animal adventures, a wonk a week.  We have a Fan Fest week, Discovery Camp, and we have an Olympic week. Those camps are for ages 5 to 10. But also, I heard someone mention about teens. We do have opportunities for teens this summer. We have our Camp Red Stick. is for ages 11 to 14. And during the summer, they do different activities and focusing on our teams during the summer. And then after they age out of that, we also have opportunities for them to apply for different jobs, such as at the Liberty Lagoon, they start hiring at age 16. And then once they turn 18, they can Apply to work at our different summer camp locations that we have across the parish. We do have Opportunities for ages 3 4 also this summer. We have a half day program Which is from 8 to noon for ages 3 4 at Highland Road Community Park, Forest Community Park, Jackson Community Park, and we have it at Church Street Park, which is in Zachary. Those camps, that particular camp is 70 per month. Per month, and it runs June and July, but it's 70 per month. And then we do have other opportunities, such as our camp sunshine, which is an exclusive camp that focuses in on our children with intellectual and developmental disabilities that can run from 7:30 a.m. and it goes until 3:30 p.m. and it's 125 a week. They do take field trips every week. They are exposed to various things across the parish. And we make sure that everything is adaptable for them. And making sure that our staff is trained to be able to. Help them to see all the opportunities that are out there for them. Also, we do have scholarship opportunities. If there is a parent that has a need to apply for a scholarship, we do have the opportunity. I can put the link in the chat as soon as we finish to make sure that everyone has the link for that. And also, if you would like to apply for summer camp or your child, Or someone else that you may know that will be interested and send their camper to summer camp. We do have that opportunity as well. We are still hiring for a summer camp. We still have a couple of available spots at our team camps, our specialty camps, and we would love to have these amazing teams as they age out, going to the different things. And it's good when they. And a part of our summer camps. They're used to the routines. They already know everybody and they'll have some wonderful opportunities. Also, please make sure to check out our other camps that we have in our specialties, such as the swamp. We do have BREC that has a camp. We have extreme sports that have camp as well. Our conservation department, we have Farr park, which is our horse park. They have summer camp during the summer. We have the Highland road observatory, Independence park  theater. We do have an LIT program, which is a leader in training. For some of our campers that may not be going to camp, but they want to be some of our leaders in training, such as those teams as they age out, they can learn how to become a counselor. We have Magnolia Mound, our outdoor adventures,  our outdoor adventure, and we also have tennis camp. So if anyone would like to reach out, feel  free to reach out if you have any of those teams for us, please let us know. I will make sure to put all of those links in the chat so that everybody will have an opportunity. 

Pepper: Thank you. And I, you do have a limit on the age, right? Cause I'm trying to sign up for a couple of these. 

Dominique: So our specialty camps is ages 5 to 10. Our teen camp is ages 11 to 14. And then our sunshine camp, it ranges. We actually have something pretty much for every age category because our sunshine club actually goes year round, but we actually have our that particular age group. I know. Trina can help me out with the age group for that one once she starts on here, but in our little campers, which is break beginning, that one is ages three and four.  

Pepper: I heard you say no old kids. That's all right. My feelings aren't hurt.  

Dominique: Listen, we have other opportunities for you. Thank you. And we do have for our older campers, we do have Sunshine Camp. 

Pepper: All right. I'll work.

Dominique: But you feel free to come to my camp. You can come help out.  

Pepper: Katrina, did you want to add?

Katrina Ward: I did and Dominique did that perfectly. Oh, I'm lying. I'm lying. I didn't want to add because Morgan asked in here if community members can donate to sponsor a family. So we do have a summer camp scholarship that we do offer for financial assistance for summer camp. And we do accept donations to the foundation.  

Pepper: Gorgeous so Morgan also asked if cap, if camping in cabins is still a thing. I think you got to go somewhere that ain't here for that, but I guess always had the initiative. If we could expand our summer camps to overnight and cabin without an adventure area. We're not there yet. But as far as BREC goes, no, but there's always a feature. I know this team is always trying to come up with something new.  

Pepper: Very good. All right, Lucy, you're up next. Please let us know who you are, what you do. How we can be involved.  

Lucy Perera: So I'm Lucy Perera. I'm sorry, it's the first time I've ever been on this meeting.

I hear that it's the funnest place in the world for the past four years. I'm with Line for Line, which is a creative literacy and mentorship program. We're based out of O'Neill's Barbershop and have  been doing lots of things. Mostly people know about us for giving free haircuts for reading, but we also do a lot of Obviously, youth programming. So this summer in the past, we have done it's not free summer camps, and it's just too much for our capacity. So we go in and partner with other organizations. So many of the people on the call are here. We go in once a week. And so if there's camps looking for creative literacy content, which basically means combining books plus art we can do that. So we regularly this summer will be in Gardere once a week, providing programming with Marcella over at the, at Lori organization. Once a week, we work with the village resource center, which is right up the street from us here on North Acadian for their camp. And then we're working partnering. Not partnering. I don't think we can say we're partnering with BREC, but we do work with BREC. And we'll be working out of two parks this summer, North Street Gym, where every Sunday, we're going to be again, of course, dependent on funding having a every Sunday from noon until seven, a family kind of play day and O'Neill Curtis and his barbers are going to be starting a softball league. And so we're looking for any people who would like to come in. During Sunday and maybe just provide some programming. In addition, we just want to activate the park, have families out, have all different activities. I'd love to be able to borrow. Maybe Christina, the little small imagination playground kind of thing. But if there's, I will share my information as well. The only camp that we are officially doing is the last week of July, and that is a school's out mini camp. All of our programs are free. And so  there will be information on how kids can sign up for that. We go on field trips. We use our site here at the barbershop where we have different kind of classroom workspaces and also go to our Breck neighbor park, which is Av Park. Other programs we have going on, which are free are every Monday and Wednesday. We have a youth basketball league or not league. It's just like a drop in camp with one of our barbers Lloyd Oliver as the coach. That's Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6 to 8 p. m. At North Street Gym. During that time, we're also going to be doing a girls empowerment program, because North Street has a nice air conditioned area.

So families are welcome to come and their Children that want to do basketball can do basketball. And then in the air conditioned room will be having sort of empowerment programs and creative programs just to kind Have a place for kids to go. We're also participating in the hype night, the Friday night hype nights over with BREC. And so we'll be out at Gus Young Park for three sessions with our books, our activities, and with some of them, our barbers and our mobile haircut unit. And my big thing just for all of you is that we've got a lot of families who Don't even have 100 and don't have 100 a week for camp. And so I would just love to be able to  share opportunities like you said that there's scholarships and things for families that are looking for things we can't provide free camp all summer just because I can't do that and everything else. So I would love from the partners that are on this call to know. Is there. Is there any way that, like, how many free, actual free programs do exist in this city for families so that I can tell them where to go? Or even just like the scholarships. Is there, has there ever been  a foundation or anything that gives scholarships to camps? Because, for example, be our stem who we love dearly is over at North Street Park, but, 125 is a lot for at least our families. So I just welcome anybody on this call. And I'm sure this is the same thing. We're all dealing with is how we when there's a family calling looking for programming where I send them. So I'm just.  Just asking that final thing. We have our book of the month program, which is a free book. We can give them to your children at your organizations. We can give them to your host sites comes with an activity engaging book card. We get all these books donated. So there's no cost to it. So if you're interested in either being a site or getting some of these book of the month books for free to do with your camp programs. We have all the directions. They're really interactive, great brand new culturally relevant books. Let me know. So is there any question?  

Casey: Awesome. Thank you, Lucy. And keep an eye on the chat because that's usually where people will put real time questions. But I did just want to take this opportunity because it is you and Christina, which is mind blowing. It's like in my head, you're always everywhere. And it never occurred to me that you've actually not been in these Fridays, but you and Christina I would love and Sam, you can talk to Patrick about this. This is a very atypical Friday. This is more of a lot of sharing of information because there's so much going on. But usually the conversations will fit more into, like, when you and I are in a room against the wall and saying all the things quietly to each other. That's what we normally do on the Fridays. It's just not quiet. It's just very open. And I think that you would really enjoy it. And our community would love to have you and Christina and Sam and everybody else that is new Dominique to join in on the Friday calls. You don't have to talk. You can just listen if you'd like, or you can be an agitator in the zoom and we have a handful of those residents and we bless them and many proudly put his hand up. So we'd love to have all of y'all back into the space. Even when you're not talking about your programs. So thank y'all for being here today. Lucy. Thank you back to you Pepper. 

Pepper: All  right. Yes, we are going to have, we are going to circle back in a couple of minutes. Right now we, yes, join the rival rousers. That's how Morgan and I became friends. Next up. We've got Lori, Marcela. 

Marcela Hernandez: Hi. Good morning, everyone. My name is Marcela Hernandez. I am the program and organizing manager from the Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants Lori in short. We've been hosting a summer enrichment camp.This year, we're going to be on a four week program, and we're going to be ensuring that our immigrant and our refugee children. have an opportunity to participate in summer enrichment activities and to develop skills and relationships with other children who are also immigrants and refugees in a safe and nurturing environment. We first launched this summer enrichment camp in 2022. And as all of we have a growing immigrant population in our state. But as they grow, they also comes a growing demand for this type of programs to support immigrant children and youth who have different cultures and different languages and of course, different customs. Last year we had 45 children. They were from 13 different nationalities from kindergarten to high school. And we were able to interact with children with different spectrums. And. Coming in, bringing so much enrichment into our camp. Our summer camp focuses on creating a welcoming and accepting environment for all children and youth. We also celebrate our differences and our unique cultures and our customs, and we celebrate our traditions and our languages, and we uplift communities. Those roots of where we're coming from. We're very proud of our traditions. We also build communications, leadership skills and we really try to build that confidence among our children and our youth. And we provide age appropriate community experiences that help with this integration journey in our community. So some of this Experiences that we have provided in the past are really because of that help of our partnerships as well. And some of them are here in the call as well. So we have taken our kids to parks, museums water parks, the public library, but we're really trying to not only staying at what Lori is talking about. these campuses but also expanding to our community and allowing our Children to have that direct interaction with our community. So to pull this summer enrichment camp each year, we also rely on our youth. Our youth that are participants of the Youth Empowerment Program. And this are exceptional youth leaders, and we do mentorship and they help us with our summer enrichment program. Thank you. Like this traditional camp leader is they provide that one on one mentorship. They provide that support to the younger children. So they can also, we can all help each other here in this place. And this year we're actually going to be applying for the safe and hopefully healthy blue Baton Rouge summer involvement in program. And then what we're going to be doing is that we're going to be focusing. On a lot of different prevention, alcohol, drug and alcohol prevention workshops, and we're really this year going to try to focus on that changing anti immigrant narrative that has been promoted during this legislative session, and we've been really, we're really going to address that in a way that we can uplift the voices of our children and our youth. And they'll also utilize the tools that we have also come up. Resiliency and positive narrative change. So without that summer programming, a lot of these immigrant children and youth won't have any access to other programs because of cost proximity. And then also growing in places that they don't feel they belong. So right here, we want to make sure that they feel that they belong somewhere, that they understood that they're safe. And that we just want to get them closer together to ensure that this journey of integration is positive and that they understand that there's a community that welcomes them. 

Pepper: Very good. I actually stopped paying attention to the timer while I was listening to you. And so thank you for wrapping up on time. And so on my calendar invite, next is also Kids Orchestra. P Tuck, did you want to make any announcements while you're here? 

Patrick Tuck: I think he just did. Yes. I asked Sam and Brian to join us today because starting Monday, I'll be working with Sam and Brian as the executive director of Kids Orchestra. A lifelong dream to work with Sam and Brian  and the rest of the team, but more importantly, a lifelong dream to work in in the music education and after school space as a trumpet player. I no longer have to justify why I'm a trumpet player when everybody else in the room is also playing an instrument. I'm very thankful for the chance. Can't wait to to work with the little musical kids in the region and thanks to Walls for the past year and really helping me inadvertently to to get set up for this next step. Love you guys. 

Pepper: Fantastic. I feel as if I need to be in these rooms challenging why you're playing the trumpet.  Because I can not for any other.  All right. So we do have thankfully, a slew of questions that we have not yet asked, nor have they been some of them been answered, but we're going to lift those up real quick  and just as a  disclaimer. I do love a field trip. All right. So we've got questions about high school age. I heard that there are programs that go to 14 and then I heard that there are jobs that pick up at 16. I know that there was also a question in the chat about 15 year olds. Is there something that covers all high school age kids and or 15 year olds in particular. 

Marcela: We will this year. We're going to have two different groups. We're going to have elementary as one cohort and then another cohort will be a middle school and high school. 

Pepper: So that not to be insensitive but Lori's camp is well geared towards new neighbors. Are y'all taking folks who've been here for a while?  

Marcela: Yes, for sure. The summer camp is for anyone who register. We actually had one girl that was not an immigrant, but she just, her family wanted her to learn about it. And she was one of our favorite campers last year. She was super involved with everything. And yes, the summer camp is open to anyone. Once registration opens, that's the challenge. Because as other people mentioned before, there's no free summer camps. So for us with a limited spots, once we have that enrollment application, the spots fill really quick. All I'm going to say is, yes, we welcome anyone here we're part of this community and just be on the lookout for the registration because once it's out.  

Pepper: Got it. All right. Next we've got questions about the, Wait, where is that voice coming from? 

Amanda: Yeah, it's me. So the mayor's youth workforce experience is for, it'll cover those ages, the 15, 14, 15, 16, 17. The link to the application is dropped in the chat. Either way some are work, the work experience or those different opportunities for learning 

Pepper: Dauda, I saw you came off mute a second ago.

Marcela:  I could not hear. I'm sorry. Something happened to I think was that a question for me?  No. 

Dauda Sesay: Can you hear me? Okay. No, I just wanted to but rest on the point. Marcela mentioned when he talks about yes, lowly, we are more alterations organizations. Our program is geared more to help in as much as we are like immigrants and refugee focus. But we our program is guest to help low income families. regardless of your country of origin or your  yes and your citizenship status. So that is one thing. And I know someone asked about 15 years old high school. Yes. We recently launched our land to lead, which will be incorporated as well in our summer program that gets to middle schoolers. school. And also we w prep scholar where we pro subscriptions to our camp I'm looking forward to get the ACT study for the ACT and prep for the ACT. There will be subscriptions that we just get the partnership with Prep Scholar that will be geared to high schoolers as well. I know the space is limited. It's going to be for only 25 students. It's going to be a first come, first served. And the reason why we call Atlanta LEAD, we, our campus for especially for high schoolers.  We focus more on I.T. The education part. Marcelo has talked about it. And then the other part is an entrepreneurship. We want to make sure that we give them this. They learn the skills that will enable them to become a leader and then also learn how to implement that skills once you become a leader and learn to lead their own life and self esteem as well. And that is the reason why we are incorporating that as well to cater for middle schooler and high schooler as well. And finally, we partner with and go with Google that's going to be offer IT classes. We get certificate that will be giving us where so about 100 and youth that are really interested in it. So all of this is part of that skill requirement. So our summer camp is gonna be interesting and those that would wanted to pursue those  certificates program, especially for it will able to be doing that virtually. But we don't have it. Admins and teachers that will be monitoring that. So we are taking a little step forward in our summer camp and all our program is free, but we do accept donations because that is the only way we keep going. So you can see Marcela has been working hard. And then, yes, and then the staff at LORI have been working on, we need to keep the program going. Yes, we do have some donations, so that's all 

Pepper:  that was going to be the next question because there was a question about in the chat about donating to sponsor families. I see that there are links for the BREC Scholarship. You can donate to that. There's a link to supporting the YMCA. There's a link to supporting Kids Orchestra. But I don't see a link to support Lori kids, but I just got to scroll down to the bottom. So we'll get there. There. Do. Thank you. There are some announcements in here that Tia is going to be handling today. 10 minutes, but matching head count for Lori camps is 25, correct? And some are a Hope awardee announcements on May 15, read about things.  All right, so question for all fee based programs. Are there additional fees and costs that the scholarships won't cover, like field trips? 

Brian: Same thing with Kids Orchestra. I replied in the chat, but yeah, everything is included with ours as well. 

Pepper: All right. LASM is free Sundays. I get, Reverend Anderson, what's an LASM? 

Reverend Anderson: The Louisiana Arts and Science Museum. 

Casey: So as Pepper said, nothing actually exists outside of the bubble of New Orleans. And the Cornerstone Museum down by the river.  

Reverend Anderson: Yes, Pepper, it's in Baton Rouge. 

Pepper: Oh, I can't be a bop. I can't be a bop. Alright, Oh, so there is a note about a 3 ticket to Knock Knock Museum with an EBT card and a Louisiana license.  Christina, can you tell us a little bit more about that? 

Christina: Yes, that's part of our Access for All initiative. It is actually a national initiative called Museums for All. And we are part of that program and anyone who comes in with an E.B.T. card and a valid license, Louisiana license or Louisiana I.D. can come in for 3 per ticket up to 5 tickets. We have had utilization of that. Program increase about 85 percent since 2019. We had about more than 15,000 people visit with that program last year. We it is, it has been very popular and and really does. Allow people who may not otherwise be able to afford a trip to the museum to come in. And so it's been really good.  

Pepper: Quick question. How much is the admission without the card in Louisiana driver's license? 

Christina: It is a 15 dollar 15 dollars a ticket. Children under 2 are free. So everyone over 2, it's 15 a ticket Pepper.

Casey: I'm just going to jump in for a quick 2nd that I'm going to hand it back to you. But I want to make sure because I want everybody to have a chance to speak. And again, thank you everyone for being here and presenting and all the amazing work that you are doing when providing for, especially the young people in our community. I want to lift up Lucy's idea. I don't want that to get buried. I thought it was the fact that. The question was asked and nobody there wasn't a peep about it. Lucy, I feel like there is not a fund for the fund. BRAF needs a fund and maybe anybody. But I was also thinking this feels like this is really in the bailiwick of the United Way. I think that we are a talk to George and them because especially with all their corporate donors and their corporate donations, I think that this is something that would really resonate with the corporate community. And I've watched how, although it's been difficult and we tried to get everybody on this call, you have EmployBR, With big buddy and the city and the battery area chamber all doing these summer camps. The summer job opportunities, and they're all giving a streamlined communication. It just, it feels that all of those folks would also recognize the fact that there are. Two to 12 year olds, two to 15 year olds that don't really have enough opportunities and be able to create some kind of fun, not necessarily, they would get paid like with stipends, right? But there is a mechanism set in place where somehow those don't, that could be doled out. And I really think it's a really good idea. So I just didn't want that idea to go off to the side. I want to lift it up. And if anybody smarter than me knows how to set that up with Lucy, I would highly encourage it. And if not, Lucy, if I'm the best that you got, then I'm happy to brainstorm that with you over hot tea in the morning time and bring it to a couple of folks and see if there's any appetite for it because now is the time 2025. That's part of the problem. We wait too damn long. To plan for hurricanes and disasters, and then they're upon us.And then we don't do, and we always wait too damn long, too late to do the summer. So I'd love to start planning for the 2025. And and I'll try to keep looking the other way that I see. Brian's got a Tennessee jersey on in the space after that last time. Look, I just put them on mute. And I was just like, dude, you came into Tiger stadium. It ain't happening today, man.  

Patrick: There will be conversations in the office.

Casey: For no good reason to do showing up when it's not even football season, is there another season? I'm just kidding. Anyway, I know people, their baseball team is very good and I know he's rocking it and it's great. Brian, welcome to the space. I only kid, but Lucy seriously, thanks for lifting up that. That's an amazing idea. 

Pepper: How will I plan anything if my hair is not on fire? I cannot look to next year. I have to deal with now. Which is only a joke, only because I live it too often. Anyway there is also, in the same vein, in the chat is a request, a challenge from Manny's Beard. Can we have a goal of getting 100 kids to camp? I don't even know how to Calculate that, but it's out there now, and Sponsor and a couple kids to go to camp. Line for Line is amazing, and the possibility of Also, Manny, what are you talking about? You're not trying to add work. All you're doing is adding work. But good work. Good trouble, sir. Good trouble. Is there a way that we can aggregate all this information into a central location like the BREC website, the YMCA calendar? I see that there are two different calendars in here that have special stuff that's specific to that organization. Is there a place where we might be able to aggregate it all? Or is already

Lucy:  Isn't the Baton Rouge area youth network what this is for  just to remind everybody if you're not a member, that should have. That was 1 of the  just putting it out there.  

Pepper: Fantastic so it already exists. All right, be that the case I have to jump in so I am gonna you know how much I love spending part of my Fridays with y'all and Tia is gonna take it from here. I'll see y'all back here next next week same bat time same bat channel. 

Helena Williams: If Tia's not gonna jump I just want this community announcement time so if you guys have anything. 

Marcela: No I think that I think Tia is having some issues with the audio. I think she's Trying to work on the audio.  

Helena: It's okay. Yeah. Okay. If you do feel free I can only ask you to unmute. And I just did. Did that work?  

Tia Fields: Okay. I'm sorry about that. Good morning. Technical difficulties here. Good morning all. I'm Tia Fields and our community announcers that we have for this weekend and upcoming and you guys can feel free to share what you have. On May 6th, Line for Line is going to have the free haircuts for reading and that will be located at O'Neal's Barbershop. May 9th and I'll drop all the links to these events in the chat. May 9th, WYCA in partnership with Healthy Blue Women's Hospital, Southern University's Agriculture Department, they will be hosting an event where you have the opportunity to win free baby prizes if you're an expecting mother or just recently gave birth. We also have on May 14th a self defense course with hosted by the Butterfly Society in partnership with Representative Vanessa LaFleur, the state of Louisiana, and the Baton Rouge Police Department.  And then lastly, on May 8th, there is the Scotlandville Shark Tank that will be hosted at Scotlandville High School. It'll give us an opportunity to meet some of our youth entrepreneurs. I implore everybody to go and check out and see what these young business owners are creating. And if anybody has any community announcements, you can take this time to either speak to it or drop your chat drop your link inside the chat. 

Pat LeDuff: Okay. Good morning, Pat LaDuff. We have KidFest, our third annual KidFest, which is a spinoff from our 30th year Juneteenth, pre Juneteenth celebration. And we are also providing space for young and emerging and currently in small business space where they can set up and there's no charge and there's no, no profit share. And that's going to be the second Saturday in June 8th,  and that's 10 to 3 a. m. At the Scotlandville Park way on Batley Road at veterans near the airport. And so if you know any and so hopefully I can tap into those children on May 8th at Scotlandville and encourage them to come and set up and showcase their business and make money that day. 

Helena: Thank you. Marcela. 

Marcela: Okay, so I do have an announcement. Today with their Red Stick Unification Cup today at Burbank Park, we're going to be having USA versus France. This is actually After the fight of  2016 nations and only four contenders left. So today we're in semi finals. Like I said, we have United States versus France and Santa Lucia versus Guatemala. We just want to invite to all of you guys to come and join us and just prepare for tomorrow's finals that it's going to be depending on today's games. So if you're looking something to do fun today, 7:30 bourbon park and FYI, I cannot leave this site saying, Columbia, this is the place where I was born. Columbia has been recognized as the country at Jazz Fest. So let's just remember. We bring a lot of things to this country. Okay. A lot of contributions. And for those who want to learn more about my country, I want to invite you to go to Jazz Fest tomorrow and really get to see the taste of my beautiful country and how we create impact into this community. Thank you guys. Have a great day.  

Helena: Thank you.  Anybody else? All right. If there are no more community announcements, I want to thank you all for being here with us this Friday. I was really excited to hear all the announcements and what's going on this summer. And I may, hopefully we can get together that where we can sponsor some kids. Really good conversations today. Thank you all. Have a good weekend. 




Community Announcements

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