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Fourchon Oilman's Association Supports Imagination Library

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The Fourchon Oilman's Association (FOA), in partnership with Bayou Community Foundation, sponsored nearly $40,000 in grants to local non-profit organizations at their annual awards ceremony.

At the ceremony, FOA donated $1,500 to TFAE to help fund the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Terrebonne Parish. Through this program, children ages 0-5 receive a book each month delivered to their home at no cost to their family.

TFAE thanks FOA for their generosity and continued support of education in our community. 

South Louisiana Bank Hosts Lending Library in East Houma

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Another lending library is now available in East Houma!

Our latest library can be found at South Louisiana Bank, located at 1308 Grand Caillou Road in East Houma. This location is next to Sonic and Oaklawn Junior High School.

This lending library is open to all to enjoy. Simply visit the library to borrow a book or to donate a book for others to enjoy.

We thank South Louisiana Bank for their continued support of TFAE and literacy in our community.

Click here for a full list of lending library locations. 

More Than 200,000 Books Funded for Terrebonne Children

An amazing 200,000 books and counting!

Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has reached a new milestone. As of December 1, 2018, TFAE has funded more than 200,000 books to Terrebonne Parish children through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Through this program, all registered children in Terrebonne Parish ages newborn to five years old receive one new, age-appropriate book every month delivered to their home at no cost to their family. Currently, more than 3,300 children are enrolled in the program in Terrebonne while another 4,800 children have already “graduated.” As Funding Champion, TFAE continues to fund these books for our local children.

“These books continue to have a tremendous impact on our community’s children by increasing their literacy skills, social skills, and comprehension,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. “By putting books in the hands of our young readers, we can help prepare them for their next journey into school.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was first brought to Terrebonne Parish by TFAE in 2012. Since then, many local businesses and organizations have donated and contributed to its success.

TFAE is an independent local non-profit organization that strives to positively affect academic achievement and to fundamentally improve education.
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Rotary of Houma Terrebonne Donates Lending Library 

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Members of the Rotary Club of Houma Terrebonne donated a Lending Library to Sylvan Learning Center, where children of all ages can share books with one another.

A lending library is a neighborhood book exchange, where community members are invited to take a book to enjoy or leave a book for others to read. It's free to use the lending library and all are encourage to participate.

TFAE is proud to partner with organizations like Rotary Club of Houma Terrebonne to bring lending libraries to our neighborhoods. We thank Rotary for their continued service to our parish.

Visit this lending library at Sylvan Learning Center, located at 657 Corporate Drive, Suite A in Houma. 

TFAE Awards $50,000+ to Terrebonne Teachers

Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has awarded $52,812 in grants to Terrebonne Parish public school teachers for the 2018-2019 school year.

Twenty-three teachers received the New Teacher Grant, which awards $500 to teachers who are new to teaching (or new to a school or subject) to use for classroom supplies. Many teachers use their own dollars to fund the supplies in their classrooms. This grant helps ease that burden and gives teachers the funds to buy the crayons, pencils, papers, glue, dry erase markers, etc. that is needed in their classrooms.

The Bayou Board of REALTORS® Journey to Careers Grants were awarded to two teachers of Journey to Careers classes to also supply their classrooms. The Bayou Board of Realtors® partnered with TFAE to provide these grants to teachers of this particular class, which helps prepare students for their future careers.

New this year, TFAE also offered the Innovative Ed-Venture Grant, which encourages teachers to submit bold and innovative ideas and projects that would actively engage their students. We are proud to award eight teachers with the Innovative Ed-Venture Grant. These grant awards ranged in amount from $1,203 to $8,658.

Examples of funded Innovative Ed-Venture Grant Projects are: Alexandria Bates of Montegut Elementary School received $3,436.00 to implement the “We Are the World News Club,” where students will receive boxes each month that contain snacks, art, literature from different countries that they are studying about. Melissa Williamson of Houma Junior High School received $8,597 in a joint grant from Chevron for her project called “Girls Who Code – Breaking Down STEM Barriers.” Through her grant, Melissa will purchase a set of chromebooks and materials needed for a Girls Who Code after-school club, where girls will learn and practice coding, engineering and math skills, and more.

“The teachers of our parish are so dedicated to their students, it is incredibly inspiring to see,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. “They deserve all the support they can get. TFAE is proud to be able to offer assistance in the form of grants to help them achieve academic excellence in their classrooms.”

Grant awards are made possible each year through donations made to TFAE’s endowment, as well as direct donations to the grant program.

TFAE is an independent local non-profit organization that strives to positively affect academic achievement and to fundamentally improve education. TFAE has awarded more than $1 million grant dollars to Terrebonne Parish public school teachers since 2002.

 

Anytime Fitness Helps Get Students Moving

Thanks to a donation from Anytime Fitness owners Jennifer Perkins and Andrew Blackwell, two local elementary students will stock their physical education classrooms with everything they need to get their students moving!

Through TFAE's New Teacher Grant Awards, Pamela Labat of Gibson Elementary and Ashlee Beaudry of Legion Park Elementary each received a $500 grant.

We thank Jennifer and Andrew of Anytime Fitness (East Houma and Raceland locations) for their dedication to the health of our community and local students!
 

Chevron Supports STEM Grants

Chevron generously partnered with TFAE to fund two Innovative Ed-Venture Grants that focused on the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mechanics).

Melissa Williamson of Houma Junior High School received a TFAE / Chevron Grant of $8,597.80 for the project "Girls Who Code - Breaking Down the STEM Barriers." This project will implement a club for girls to learn coding, engineering, and technology skills.

Glenn Sikes of Coteau Bayou Blue Elementary also received a TFAE / Chevron Grant in the amount of $1,203.80 for the project "We Are Engineering A Bright Future!" This project will fund materials for students to build robots, which will utilize engineering skills.

Many thanks to Chevron for their generous donation to TFAE and supporting our local schools tackle STEM.

Realtor Group Helps Careers Classes

The Bayou Board of REALTORS® sponsored two grants to assist Journey to Careers classes with supplies, field trip opportunities, and more.

Journey to Careers classes focus on preparing students for the workforce beyond school. The Bayou Board of REALTORS® Journey to Careers Grants were awarded to Chasity Paul of Oaklawn Junior High and Dawn Lirette of Montegut Middle School.

We thank Bayou Board of REALTORS® for their commitment to our community and our local schools.
 

Leadership Terrebonne Donates Lending Library

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Members of the Leadership Terrebonne Class of 2018 each donated money to fund a TFAE Lending Library to gift to St. Lucy's Church and Daycare Center.

Leadership Terrebonne is a program that focuses on the issues facing our parish, leadership training, and the importance of making a difference in our community. This year's class is made up of 30 members, of which includes TFAE Executive Director Katie Portier.

"We have a wonderful group of participants in Leadership Terrebonne who truly care about our community," Katie said. "When I asked if our class would want to sponsor and donate a lending library, there was no hesitation on anyone's part."

The Houma Courier donated the box used to create the library. Lee Bachlet, the paper's publisher, is also a member of the leadership class.

St. Lucy's Church and Daycare Center is located at 1220 Aycock Drive in Houma. The community is invited to borrow a book from the lending library or bring their own book to add to its collection. 

Village East School Wins Top Volunteer Award

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Every year, we rely on hundreds of generous volunteers to help TFAE put on our annual 5K Run for Excellence and Food Fest. As an incentive for our local schools to help us with volunteers, TFAE awards the school with the highest percentage of participation with a $300 award, courtesy of Shell Pipeline.

We are excited to announce that the 2018 winner of our Top Volunteer Award (for the second year in a row) is Village East School!

We thank ALL of our local teachers, parents, and administrators for volunteering in the name of your school!

Proceeds from the 5K Run for Excellence and Food Fest help to fund the work of TFAE, which includes providing grants to local public school teachers. 
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Shell Supports TFAE

Thank you to Shell Pipeline for their continued support of TFAE with a donation of $1,500 to the TFAE 5K Run for Excellence and Food Fest.

We appreciate Shell's support of local education. 

Tickets for Purses & Pints Now On Sale!

Tickets are now on sale for Purses & Pints, a fundraising event hosted by Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) to help fund the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Terrebonne Parish.

Purses & Pints will be Thursday, November 15 at Ellendale Country Club beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event features silent and live auctions of new and gently used purses and handbags, as well as new jewelry, artwork by local artists, and more. Guests can also enjoy live music by Russ Cheramie, signature cocktails, draft beer selection, and delicious food.

Tickets to the event are $55 per person. Included with your ticket is the sponsorship of a child in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for one year. Through this program, all registered children in Terrebonne Parish ages newborn to five years old receive one age-appropriate book every month delivered to their home at no cost to their family. Currently, more than 3,200 children are enrolled in the program in Terrebonne and more than 4,500 have already “graduated.” As Funding Champion, TFAE is responsible for funding over 180,000 books to date.

“These books have had a tremendous impact on our community’s children by increasing their literacy skills, social skills, and comprehension,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. “It’s a great tool and resource for parents and early education centers to use in preparing young learners for school.”

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Katie at 985-868-5881 or katie@tfae.org. Tickets can also be purchase online with a paypal account at www.tfae.org/purses-pints. Limited number of tickets are available so reserve yours today!
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Enterprise Holdings Foundation Grant
 
The Enterprise Holdings Foundation has donated $1,500 to Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) to further its mission of supporting local education. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Enterprise Holdings, which, through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchises, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car brands.

TFAE thanks the Enterprise Holding Foundation for their support of education in Terrebonne Parish. 

Local Artist Behind TFAE Lending Library Artwork

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A common question we get is: “Who is painting these adorable lending libraries around town?”

When Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) was in the planning stages of creating the Lending Libraries, we knew they had to stand out. TFAE Executive Director Katie Portier knew just who to call – local artist Kassie Voisin.

"I've been a fan of Kassie's artwork for some time," Katie said. "She has a great style that I knew would appeal to kids."

A resident of Terrebonne Parish, Kassie started her art company in 2014. Her specialty has evolved over the years from canvas paintings to impressive large scale murals. Her successful business has allowed her to also give back to the community with a service project called Kassie’s Canvas for Kids where she does a “home makeover” for families of kids with illness and special needs.

Recently, Kassie has been commissioned by local schools to paint empowering statements and colorful artwork to their halls, libraries, and cafeterias.

“There’s something about painting murals for kids that has always warmed my heart,” Kassie said. “I remember how art made me feel at a young age…We have an opportunity to show these kids that they matter.”

Kassie’s talent and ability to appeal to children certainly shines through on our Lending Libraries. From an alligator with glasses reading a book or a hot air balloon floating among flying books, you can’t miss our brightly colored Lending Libraries throughout neighborhoods. Kassie said she’s honored to join TFAE in an effort to empower the next group of future leaders.

“Our Lending Libraries are a great way to inspire readers of all ages to pick up a book and share literacy within their own neighborhoods,” Katie said. “We are excited to bring more of them throughout Terrebonne Parish as the year continues.”

TFAE Launches Four New Lending Libraries

Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) is excited to announce that there are now FIVE Lending Libraries in Terrebonne Parish.

A Lending Library is a neighborhood book exchange where everyone is invited to take a book or leave a book. The goal is to inspire reading and literacy in our community, where everyone can have a hand in participating. At the Lending Libraries, you’ll find an array of books for all age levels. People are encouraged to read a book there, take a book home, and bring that book back or another book in its place back to the Lending Library.

We thank Hancock Whitney Bank, Terminix Pest Control, Pedestal Bank, Stephanie Hebert Allstate Insurance Agency, and Louis Mohana Furniture for sponsoring and hosting our Lending Libraries.
 
Click here to find a Lending Library near you!

Houma Oilman's Rodeo Donates $5,000

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The Houma Oilman's Rodeo Board of Directors presented Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) with a $5,000 donation after its annual fishing tournament.

The Houma Oilmans Fishing Invitational (HOFI) tournament is an annual fishing event, held in Cocodrie, limited to qualifying oilfield and related industry personnel.  With 3,000 participants each year, HOFI is the largest saltwater fishing rodeo in the South, with participants coming from all over the country to attend.

Conceived in 1994, simply as a means to provide a noncompetitive atmosphere for networking, it has evolved into a means of providing needed funds to qualifying local and national charities. Since inception, the tournament has been able to donate a total of $2,550,000 toward such funds through a combination of raffles, auctions, sales, donations, and fees.

TFAE thanks HOFI for their continued support of TFAE and our Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program. With this donation, TFAE can fund 200 children to receive books for one year through the Imagination Library. 

Local Students' Artwork Featured In Exhibit

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Local students were given a challenge: re-imagine and re-design the cover of their favorite childhood book. The winners of this contest, hosted by Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE), would have their creation made into banners that would hang in historical downtown Houma.

All 145 entries into this contest will be featured in an upcoming Art Exhibit at the Terrebonne Main Library from July 31 – August 14. The community is invited to view the artwork free of charge during the library’s operating hours.

“Our Books and Banner contest yielded some incredibly creative, unique, and beautiful artwork from our local students,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director said, “We are excited to display all of the entries in an art exhibit so that the community can enjoy these wonderful artists’ hard work.”

New Grant Opportunities Announced

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Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has a variety of grant opportunities for Terrebonne Parish public school teachers including:

Innovative Ed-Venture Grants:
TFAE Innovative Ed-Venture Grants are designed to encourage teachers to incorporate the most innovative, educational, and developmental activities into their classroom curriculum to provide students with an innovative approach to the learning process. TFAE wants to invest in you, the teachers who shape the future, by offering grants not limited in dollar amount, that make it possible for you to incorporate bold, challenging, and educational thought-stretching ideas into your classroom to enhance the learning experience and close the achievement gap for all students!

New Teacher Grants:
We recognize that there are a lot of supplies necessary to get a classroom ready for students. We have created this grant program to help stock your classroom. Teachers who meet the criteria can submit one grant application for up to $500. Teachers who can apply for this grant include those: 1) New to the TPSD system within the last 3 years; 2) New to a subject area within the last 3 years; 3) New to a grade level within the last 3 years; 4) New to a school within the last 3 years.

Bayou Board of REALTORS® Journey to Careers Grants:
The purpose of this grant is to enhance the learning environment and education of the students in their Journey to Careers class. Two $400.00 grants will be awarded.

Deadline to apply for all grants is August 31, 2018.

TFAE is an independent local non-profit organization that strives to positively affect academic achievement and to fundamentally improve education. TFAE has awarded more than $1 million grant dollars to Terrebonne Parish public school teachers since 2012. 

Morgan Stanley Awards Grant

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The Morgan Stanley Foundation has awarded Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) a grant of $2,000 to be used to help fund our local Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

The Imagination Library provides all registered children in Terrebonne Parish one age-appropriate book a month until their fifth birthday at no cost to their family.

We thank Morgan Stanley for their generous donation and for supporting education in Terrebonne Parish.  Morgan Stanley has a long-standing commitment to engaging and giving back to the communities where their employees live and work and since 1993, through the Volunteer Incentive Program, has supported hundreds of non-profit organizations where their employees serve as governing board members or volunteer.

We thank Sherri Roach for her volunteer hours in support of our community and local education.
 

TFAE Receives Helping Hands Grant

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Allstate Foundation has awarded Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) a Helping Hands Grant on behalf of local agent Stephanie Hebert.

This $1000 grant will be used to help fund our Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which provides registered children in Terrebonne Parish one age-appropriate book a month until their fifth birthday at no cost to their family.

Thank you to Allstate for being a positive force for change in our community.  The Allstate Foundation supports the causes that Allstate agency owners, financial specialists and employees care about most by providing Helping Hands Grants to nonprofits where they volunteer their time to bring out the good in their communities.

We thank Stephanie Hebert for her continued support of our community and local education!
 

TFAE Launches Lending Libraries

Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) unveiled its first Lending Library at Hancock Whitney Bank in downtown Houma, with plans to roll out multiple other lending libraries at other locations by the end of the summer.

A lending library is a neighborhood book exchange where everyone is invited to take a book or leave a book. The goal is to inspire reading and literacy in our community, where everyone can have a hand in participating. At the Little Lending Libraries, you’ll find an array of books for all age levels. People are encouraged to read a book there, take a book home, and bring that book back or another book in its place back to the lending library.

“We are so excited to bring Little Lending Libraries to Terrebonne Parish,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. “Anytime a young reader has access to books and can become excited about reading is an opportunity for them to continue to learn.”

The lending libraries are a nice compliment to the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which TFAE serves as our local champion. With this program, a free book is mailed to registered children’s home at no cost to their family until their fifth birthday. The lending libraries will also be stocked with books from the Imagination Library, as well as brochures for families to take and sign up their children.

Many businesses and citizens have signed up to host a Little Lending Library on their property and manage its contents. The first TFAE Lending Library will be located in the courtyard of Hancock Whitney Bank in downtown Houma, facing Main Street. The lending libraries are painted with colorful books and artwork by a local artist Kassie Voisin.

Educators Sponsor New Teacher Grant

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The Kappa Kappa Iota Sorority donated $500 to Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE). This wonderful group is made up of educators and former educators from our community.

Their generous donation will be used to sponsor a New Teacher Grant, a grant that new teachers or teachers moving to a new grade or a new school can apply.

This year's donation from Kappa Kappa Iota Sorority is in memory of their long-time member and dear friend Ms. Althea Pellegrin.

We thank members of the Kappa Kappa Iota Sorority for their years of dedicated service to the children of our community and for their continued support of TFAE.

Imagination Library Gets Boost from
Bayou Community Foundation

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Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bayou Community Foundation (BCF).

With this grant, TFAE will fund five years worth of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library books to 11 TPIECE early child care centers and all pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms of Terrebonne Parish public schools with a school performance grade of C or lower.

"Through the use of Imagination Library books, these students will improve their literacy and vocabulary skills, as well as boost their confidence," Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. "These skills are critical to building a foundation that will set these students up for success at the next level of learning."

Since 2013, BCF has awarded more than $1 million grant dollars in Terrebonne, Lafourche, and Grand Isle. TFAE thanks BCF for their dedication to our communities and for this generous grant. 

Best of the Bayou Keeps the Music Alive

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The Best of the Bayou Music Foundation has donated $55,000 to Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) to establish a perpetual fund to issue grants for music appreciation and education in Terrebonne Parish for generations to come.

“We envision this grant to have a great impact on our community by helping to instill a love of music in children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to music education,” Tim McNabb, Best of the Bayou Music Festival Chairman, said.

 

Books & Banner Art Contest Winners

Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE) announces winners of their Books & Banners Art Contest, whose artwork will be featured as banners to be displayed on Main Street in historical downtown Houma.

All Terrebonne Parish school students ages four through seventeen were invited to participate in the contest, which asked them to redesign the cover of their favorite childhood book. Of the 110 entries, 14 winners were voted on by a panel of judges. The banners will be hung throughout downtown Houma in August to kick off the 2018-2019 school year.

“All of the artwork submitted were truly beautiful,” Katie Portier, TFAE Executive Director, said. “They each had their own unique interpretation of their favorite book and style of art. It was very hard for our judges to narrow down to just 14 winners. They were all excellent!”

The winners are:
  • Savannah Barnett, Grade 6 at Coteau Bayou Blue, Alice In Wonderland
  • Abigail Benoit, Grade 9 at Vandebilt Catholic High School, Madeline
  • Jenae’ Boudwin, Grade 7 at Grand Caillou Middle School, If I Were a Kangaroo
  • Charley Cancienne, Grade 12 at Vandebilt Catholic High School, Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Emily Corcales, Grade 1 at Honduras Elementary School, I Love You, Spot
  • Rhian Detiveaux, Grade 2 at Acadian Elementary School, Jake At Gymnastics
  • Maylen Detiveaux, Grade Kindergarten at Acadian Elementary, Wheels on the Bus
  • Leah Gaubert, Grade 11 at Vandebilt Catholic High School, Peter Rabbit
  • Marlys Hernadez-Fitch, Grade 5 at Grand Caillou Middle School, The Little Engine That Could
  • Maddison Jarveaux, Grade 12 at Vandebilt Catholic High School, The Giving Tree
  • Marquitta Jones, Grade 11 at Ellender Memorial High School, The Rainbow Fish
  • Lindsey Lirette, Grade 10 at Ellender Memorial High School, Peter Pan
  • Jazmin Marant, Grade 8 at Evergreen Jr. High School, Good Night, God
  • Nyla Washington, Grade 4 at Acadian Elementary School, I Love You, Spot

The contest was to compliment the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, which TFAE serves as Terrebonne Parish’s Funding Champion. Through the Imagination Library, any registered child receives a new book delivered to their home every month until their fifth birthday at no cost to their family.

Tara Detiveaux, Director of Hope Extreme, used the contest as an art project for students that attend their after school program.

“Kids at Hope Extreme enjoyed putting their own artistic touch to the books that they had read,” Tara said. “This contest allowed them to put their talents to use in fun and meaningful ways.”

Artists featured below:
Good Night, God by Jazmin Marant, 8th Grader at Evergreen Jr. High
The Giving Tree by Maddison Jarveaux, 12th Grader at Vandebilt Catholic High School
**Other entries to be posted soon!
 

New Additions to TFAE 5K Run for Excellence

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Can You Beat Mildred?

After last year’s 5K Run for Excellence, the office of TFAE was left an interesting message on our answering machine. It was Mildred Dufrene and she wanted to know why she didn’t get a medal at the race. Turns out, Mildred was 84 years old and finished the 5K Race in 47 minutes. She was the oldest race finisher. We agreed – she needed a medal!

Our Executive Director Angie Walsh brought Mildred her own special Run for Excellence medal. Seated around Mildred’s kitchen table, Mildred showed Angie her many race tshirts and awards on display. Mildred is a true “firecracker,” a lovely woman who embodies the notion of a positive attitude and a zest for life.

In her honor, we will continue to present “The Mildred Award” as part of our race winning medals. The Mildred will be awarded to the oldest 5K finisher Run for Excellence. Anyone can win it, but you’ll have to beat Mildred for it!
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"Angels” Among Us

TFAE is proud to welcome Ainsley’s Angels to TFAE’s 5K Run for Excellence. Anyone with a disability that prevents them from racing on their own may participate as an Angel Athlete-rider. There is no fee to register to become an Angel Athlete-rider. Simply sign up at ainsleyangels.org.

On race day, riders are paired with an Angel Runner, a volunteer who has the honor of helping the rider reach the finish line. The Angel Athlete-riders are the core of the team, the person who leads the way and helps everyone cross the finish line with smiles, cheers, and immeasurable inspirational spirit.

To learn more about becoming an Angel Athlete-rider or Angel Runner, please contact info@tfae.org. For more information on Ainsley’s Angels and their mission, visit ainsleyangels.org.

Solving Problems at the Math Cafe

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Sitting around the tall table in the back of the classroom, students are hunched over a worksheet deep in conversation. They move around the table as they brainstorm until they uncover the solution to the problem in front of them. Smiles and high fives reach across the table. Together, they just solved a difficult math problem.

The Math Café has become a popular destination among the halls of Houma Junior High. The idea for the café came to eighth grade math teacher Melissa Williamson due to her own three sons.

“I have raised three sons who drove some of their teachers a bit crazy with the need to move and their inability to sit still for so long,” Melissa said. “The popularity of standing desks inspired me to create a standing table to allow movement and encourage team work.”

Through a grant from Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence (TFAE), Melissa purchased the supplies needed to build the standing table. The students worked together using math and engineering skills to create blueprints for the table and help put the table together.

As an engineer for 14 years, Melissa said the most important lesson her students learned through building the math café was that math and engineering are never done solo in real life.

“Groups work together at all times,” Melissa said. “I want my classroom to feel like a real work space. In all fields, professionals are encouraged to interact with each other and share ideas. The classroom should prepare them using that same setting.”

The Math Café has become a space for students of all levels to interact – from honors and gifted classes to special education and inclusion classes.

“Discipline problems are almost non-existent for students at the café,” Melissa said. “Students smile, interact, and engage when they are able to share ideas in a group setting.”

Through the use of the Math Café, Melissa has been able to “adopt” several non-honor students into her honors class to see if movement and flexible seating would help them, which it has. All of those students are taking honors math tests now and doing very well.

“The Math Café sharpens students’ social skills and their math skills.” Melissa said. “It’s a win-win!”

Your Pie Pizza Dine & Donate Event

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TFAE raised $2741 at Your Pie’s Dine and Donate event! Many thanks to the Reaves family for hosting TFAE and to all those who donated. The money will be used for our Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to provides books at no cost to families of children under 5 in Terrebonne Parish.

TFAE Celebrates Success

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Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence held its "TFAE Celebrates Excellence" event May 6 to honor students, educators, and an influential community member for their efforts in education.

Eleven students were given the Distinguished Scholar Award, which honors academic success while overcoming struggles. Each scholar selected their own Inspirational Educator, a teacher who has had a positive and inspiring impact on their lives.

The 2018 Distinguished Scholars are: 
Joshua Fontenot, Bayou Cane Adult Education Center
Erin Rogers, H.L. Bourgeois High School
Tammy Johnson, H.L. Bourgeois High School
Lauren Louviere, Ellender Memorial High School
Breanna Parfait, Ellender Memorial High School
Lane Robichaux, South Terrebonne High School
Victoria Pellegrin, South Terrebonne High School
Ethan Kelley, Louis Miller Terrebonne Career & Technical High School
Dylan Fitch, Louis Miller Terrebonne Career & Technical High School
Jennifer Barrios, Terrebonne High School
Caleb Boudreaux, Terrebonne High School

The 2018 Inspirational Educators are:
Norma Donaldson, Rhonda Rogers, Claudette Kelleher, Melea Eschete, Michelle White, Jeremy Boudreaux, Ann Labat, Nikki Thibodeaux, Chris Brown, Vaughn Luquette, and Julie Bernard. 
 
The James J. Buquet, Jr. Award of Distinction. This honor went to Charles K. “Chuck” Weaver, the President Emeritus of South Louisiana Bank. Recipients of the award must have graduated from a Terrebonne Parish Public High School, have exuded excellence in a chosen field, and provided service unselfishly to his or her community, state, nation, or internationally.

The 2018 Principals and Teachers of the Years were also recognized.

2018 Principals of the Year:
Cheryl Degruise, Dularge Elementary School
Kelly Burlette, Evergreen Jr. High School
Mark Torbert, South Terrebonne High School.

2018 Teachers of the Year:
Ashley Clement, Dularge Elementary School
Karley Derouche, Montegut Middle School,
Courtney Thibodeaux, South Terrebonne High School