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A crowd of students and their families filled the Cochon de Lait Pavilion in Mansura on Jan. 24. Schools and early childhood education centers provided information on school programs and activities.

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Marksville High School cheerleaders Sydney Bordelon (chicken) and Jada Williams (Mardi Gras rider) entertain the Parental Involvement Fair crowd with a dance.

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Bunkie Magnet High had a Mardi Gras theme to its Parental Involvement Fair booth.

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Avoyelles High paid tribute to a favorite pastime in this area -- crawfish boils

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Avoyelles School Board members Stanley Celestine Jr. and Aimee Dupuy (far left) check out the LaSAS booth with LaSAS parent Brenda Ducote, APSD Special Ed Supervisor Dawn Pitre (center), LaSAS Principal Eric Rachal (far right) while 8th grade math teacher Keri Desselle mans the booth. Celestine, 19, is a not-so-long-ago graduate of LaSAS and one of the state's youngest elected officials.

Annual event puts the 'public' back into 'public schools'

Avoyelles School District's Parental Involvement Fair attracts hundreds

Although parking was a bit more challenging and the display area somewhat smaller, the 9th annual Parental and Family Involvement/Engagement Fair was once again a time for Avoyelles Parish schools to put the “public” back into the public schools.

Approximately 400 parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and students attended the event, held Jan. 24 at Mansura’s Cochon de Lait Pavilion.

The district’s 10 schools used the opportunity to provide information on what they offer their students and to do some bragging on their accomplishments and recognitions.

Superintendent Blaine Dauzat said a major theme of the event was acknowledging the district has shown the most growth in state performance scores over the past three years.

Each year the event has a different theme. This edition of the parental involvement fair was “Come See the Good Things Cooking in Avoyelles.”

Several schools had a Mardi Gras flavor to their booths. Others focused on culinary treats associated with the Bayou State.

Becky Spencer, usually the district Federal Programs technology director but wearing the hat of the Parental Involvement event coordinator this time of year, said she had hoped the fair could be held at the Avoyelles Plaza again this year, but that site is no longer being rented.

The Plaza, located on La. Hwy 1 in Mansura, is the original site of L.J.’s Casino.

The Cochon de Lait Pavilion was a good alternative, although it lacks the large paved parking area of the previous venue.

“We are looking at using our own facilities in the future,” Spencer said. “We will rotate it among our high schools, holding it at a different school each year.”

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MARKSVILLE WEEKLY

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