First Lady Donna Edwards is joined by State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D) with teachers and students of various schools from Monroe, LA.
Kids from all over the state were invited to attend the Annual Easter Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, April 5.
“To have 725 children come together with parents and teachers from all over the state is awesome! We have hidden thousands of eggs for the kids,” said First Lady Donna Edwards, wife of Louisiana Governor John B. Edwards.
Governor Edwards could not be present this year due to meetings out of state but the First Lady had no problem taking on the massive youth event. In fact, she served the kids, talked with them, joked with them, and even gave out cookies. “We put a lot of work into making this a great day for the kids. To have the community come out to support this tradition in our state is absolutely wonderful! Many of the kids have never been here and we wanted their first opportunity to spend the day here to be full of excitement,” said the Louisiana First Lady.
The kids rode a train around the Mansion campus, touched live rabbits, ate snacks, received face paintings, and participated in a huge Easter Egg Hunt.
Tessica Posey, a Teacher at Progress Head Start in Baton Rouge, came with a large group of kids from her school. “This is my second year coming. It’s very nice. Kids get a chance to see the Governor’s Mansion and they’ll be talking about it all week,” she said. Her class participants were Pre-Schoolers who are graduating to Kindergarten in May.
“Our students were over excited,” said Claudette Rogers. “We have been talking about State and National Government in class. We have even discussed the Governor’s job responsibility in class. So, this was a fun way for the kids to see firsthand what we’ve been going over.” Rogers is a Pre-School Instructor at Wonderland Head Start in Baton Rouge.
Students and Teachers from Wonderland Head Start in Baton Rouge, LA attended.
Latonya Comeaux gave the same report. Her students have been discussing the Governor and Mayor in class. “We brought 11 kids and they have been excited all week. Parents volunteered to help chaperone the kids because they wanted the kids to experience the Governor’s Mansion,” she said. Comeaux is a teacher at Capital Area Head Start in Baton Rouge.
Of the 725 students who participated, one group drove four hours to attend. State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-District 16), attracted support from local business owners to bring a bus load of 1st Graders from Monroe, LA. The students and teachers rode to Baton Rouge on a luxury Limo Bus.
“This is my most important Children’s Event. I never hide my Christian values. I ran on Christian Principles and I govern by them. This is one Holiday that we get a chance to freely express our Faith,” said Jackson. “It is more than just an Easter Egg Hunt. They ate lunch at the Capitol and discussed the real meaning of Easter as a group,” she explained.
Jackson’s Office spearheaded a city-wide Essay Contest among 1st Graders. “The winning student from each school and a teacher was invited to attend the trip. “It’s important the kids understand the real meaning of Easter. Many times kids talk about eggs and bunnies but the Resurrection of Christ gets lost,” she explained. “I was overwhelmed that many of the essays were about Christ. I wanted the kids to meet the First Lady. She goes above and beyond for our kids and her passion is remarkable,” said Jackson.
Parents who did not approve of their kids being included in a Christian assignment did not have to participate. It wasn’t a mandatory assignment. However, Jackson said they didn’t have any parents to reject the assignment. “Many kids in higher grades wanted to participate with the 1st Graders. The schools and parents were extremely supportive.”
Their entire trip was paid for by local sponsors including Downs Law Firm, Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union, and The Office of Katrina Jackson. Harris Deville Consulting Firm sponsored lunch for all the Monroe kids at the State Capitol.
The Monroe bus included students from Jack Hayes, Lakeshore, New Vision, and Cypress Point schools in Monroe as well as Delta Jr., Morehouse Magnet, Pine Grove, and HV Adams Elementary in Bastrop, LA.
The “Golden Ticket Essay Contest” winners all received gifts from The First Lady and will be awarded at school next week by State Representative Katrina Jackson and Staff.
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