Livingston Parish Schools Take Learning to Local Community

Livingston Parish Schools Take Learning to Local Community
Posted on 03/13/2019
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Livingston Parish Schools Take Learning to Local Community
Community Volunteers and Educators Strengthen Relationships With Students and Families Through Outreach Event

 DENHAM SPRINGS, La. – More than 350 members of the Eastover Estates community in South Denham Springs turned out Monday (March 11) to engage with teachers, school leaders and community volunteers in the Livingston Parish Public Schools’ first STEAM Express Community Event.

Children of all ages and their parents enjoyed fun learning activities and games, free food and giveaways. They received free books, clothes and school supplies, along with information on health care, local law enforcement services and resources at the parish’s libraries and Family Resource Center. The event was held near the Light of the Word Church, which is located at the corner of Aztec Drive and Chickasaw Avenue.

“This event was a powerful opportunity for our teachers and school leaders to interact with our students and their parents in their home environment. We want these families to know that we care about their wellbeing and the education of their children,” Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said.

Murphy said the administrators and teachers of Southside Junior High and Southside Elementary volunteered to work the event, as well as several central office leaders. 

“I was overwhelmed with the positive feedback,” he said. “As I made my way around the grounds of the event, I saw smiles of children as they played and enjoyed all the activities, and I saw interaction of adults with our teachers and community volunteers.”

In addition to school district personnel, several other parish organizations participated, including Assess the Need, English Learners Education Center (ELEC), Mighty Moms, Livingston Parish Libraries, Livingston Parish Public Schools Family Resources Center and Adult Education, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Stewart Medical Center, and Denham Springs High’s Jackets Against Destructive Decisions. 

“The event is evidence that our teachers and school leaders care for our community,” Mighty Moms founder Dawn Birdsong said. “I’m so thankful our organization was included in this event. It gave us a great opportunity to interact with so many people who can benefit from our efforts."

Murphy said the school district created the STEAM Express with the intent of taking learning into local communities throughout the parish. The mobile classroom makes learning concepts about science, technology, engineering, arts and math a fun experience, and it allows parents an opportunity to participate in the process. Several teachers across the district have participated in workshop to learn how to customize activities with the mobile classroom for their students. The district has incorporated the STEAM Express into a variety of school activities and evening events.

 “Taking learning into our communities is at the very heart of what we envision with our STEAM Express mobile classroom,” Murphy said. “Our community outreach grew out of that vision as others wanted to join us and be a part of reaching our students and families where they live. It’s really exciting to see the impact we can have as we all work together."

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Southside Elementary Principal Laura Williams and Southside Junior High Principal Wes Partin serve up jambalaya to children who were participating in the STEAM Express Community Outreach event that was held in Eastover Estates on March 11. The students who live in the residential area are inside those school attendance zones.

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Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor distributes school supplies from the Assess the Need School Supply Program to students who attended the STEAM Express Community Outreach event on March 11. Those students pictured, from front to back, are Lizien Jimenez, Noemi Henriquez, and Jocelyn Lopez – all three attend Southside Elementary.

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Denham Springs High School Junior Jason Nguyen peddles a bicycle-powered smoothie blender as Assistant Supervisor of Child Nutrition Programs Sommer Purvis looks on. The “blender bike” was used by the Livingston Parish School Child Nutrition Programs Department to serve fresh fruit smoothies to attendees at the STEAM Express Community Outreach event.
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Southside Elementary Fifth-Grader Kami Davis receives a butterfly painting on her face from Teacher Karly Garrett during the STEAM Express Community Outreach event in Eastover Estates on March 11.

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Seven-year-old Heaven Rivera selects the book, “In My Garden” from the selection offered by the Livingston Parish Family Resources Center at the STEAM Express Community Outreach event on March 11. Rivera said she hopes to plant a small garden in her yard this summer. Also pictured, from left to right, are Family Resources Director Jennifer Rabalais and English Learners Education Center Director Yvette Spear.

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Southside Elementary Student Yimi Santos and Teacher Lindsay Varnado build a roller coast with assorted Amusement Park Engineers pieces during the STEAM Express Community Outreach event on March 11

Notice of Discrimination

The Livingston Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, disability or gender in its educational programs and activities (including employment and application for employment), and it is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender by Title IX (20 USC 168) and on the basis of disability by Section 504 (42 USC 794). The Title IX Coordinator is Stephen Parrill

Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all websites and web applications, both public-facing and for internal use, conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W.C.A.G.) 2.0 Level AA. Any issues should be reported (, Assistant Superintendent, P.O. Box 1130, Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225) 686-7044. The Special Education Director is Dr. Eric Penalber (; the LPPS 504 Coordinator is Marcia McKnight (, P.O. Box 1130 Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225)686-4248.

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