LSU AgCenter Partnering With Others To Help Displaced Students

Pamela Hodson, White, Rebecca E., Morgan, Johnny W.  |  7/28/2006 11:37:09 PM

Dr. Debra Davis, assistant director of the LSU AgCenter’s Organization Development and Evaluation unit, gives instructions to participants at the Partnership for Prevention Education training session July 21 at the AgCenter’s Extension Office in West Baton Rouge Parish. The partnership of various agencies from the area is seeking ways to help students in the seven parishes of the Capital Area Human Services District who are trying to cope with the many issues related to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.

News Release Distributed 07/28/06

LSU AgCenter agents in seven South Louisiana parishes are working with other agencies on a project designed to help displaced students meet their ongoing needs.

The effort, known as the Partnership for Prevention Education, is targeted toward Louisiana residents affected by last year’s hurricanes.

Dr. Pam Hodson, LSU AgCenter regional director for the southeastern Louisiana parishes involved in the project, said the AgCenter’s goal for this partnership is to help students and their families receive the assistance they need to cope with being displaced from their homes or otherwise affected by the storms.

"One area we hope to address though this collaboration is post-traumatic stress," Hodson said.

The partners in the project are the American Red Cross, the Capital Area Human Services District, the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps and the LSU AgCenter. It is targeted toward residents in the Capital Area Human Services District – the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

"We have the information, and we can help the Capital Area Human Services District get into the schools where we’re already set up with our 4-H youth development program," Hodson said, adding, "This will save them a few steps toward helping those who are in the most need."

A recent training session in Port Allen was designed to get the representatives of all groups together. That July 21 session primarily was intended to help those who will be providing services in schools in the seven parishes and allow them to become familiar with LSU AgCenter 4-H agents who already have relationships with the schools.

"What we want to do is make it easier for these people who are displaced and/or in need of services to get in touch with the right people quicker," Hodson said.

LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Becky White said part of this program will involve prevention education and life skills education for youth.

"The LSU AgCenter will be using our 4-H agents to help these partnering agencies to get into the schools where 4-H is already recognized and to teach the young people about money and how to make it work for them and their families, so they can have quality of life," White said.

Nadia Edwards, a social worker with Capital Area Human Service District, said she will be working in the Capitol Middle School in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"We will all be based in a particular school, and this program will give us contact information for agencies that have information or services that we need," Edwards said.

Edwards said the collaborative program is designed to bring help to displaced students but that the assistance is not limited to evacuees.

"Any student who is experiencing a problem such as anger management, conduct disorder, poor socialization skills and other problems can benefit from this partnership," she said.

For additional information on this seven-parish partnership, contact your local LSU AgCenter extension office. You can find a listing of those offices and information on the variety of other programs offered by the LSU AgCenter at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Contacts:
Pam Hodson at (985) 543-4129 or phodson@agcenter.lsu.edu
Becky White at (225) 578- 3921 or bwhite@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Johnny Morgan at (225) 578-8484 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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