Donaldsonville Rotary honors five principals

Darian Graivshark
From left to right: Robyn Penn Delaney, Rotarian; Martha Babin, principal of Head Start; Tennille Lange, principal of Donaldsonville Primary School; Karen Daigle, principal of Lowery Elementary; Paul Sampson, principal of Lowery Middle School; Marvin Evans, principal of Donaldsonville High School; Juanita Pearly, Rotarian.

With a funding amount of around $1.6 million dollars, Head Start is able to serve 251 children.

On January 31, the Donaldsonville Rotary recognized principals from different schools that play a part in the Head Start program. The program is funded through the federal government, and is a five year grant. The program is currently on its third year.

Head Start begins with 3-4 year olds in the program. The principal of the Head Start program is Martha Babin. After they have finished at Head Start, they move on to Donaldsonville Primary School, where Tennille Lange is the principal. After primary school, children head on to Lowery Elementary, which is third through fifth graders. The principal of Lowery Elementary is Karen Daigle. Next, at Lowery Middle School, where sixth to eight graders attend, Paul Sampson is principal. Finally, students move on to Donaldsonville High School, which consists of ninth through twelfth grade students, and the principal is Marvin Evans.

At Head Start, there are seven classes of three year olds, or about 91 children. Donaldsonville Primary has six classes of four year olds, or 85 children. G.W. Carver Primary has three classes of four-year-olds with 27 children. Pecan Grove Primary has three classes of four year olds with 27 children. Gonzales Primary has two classes of four year olds, or 21 children.

Head Start principal Martha Babin said, "The governing body of the program is the Ascension Parish School Board. They oversee regulations that take place to serve as a resource and impact children in a positive way. We also have monitoring, which makes sure that we are doing what we're saying. Teams are subdivided into monitoring teams, and they will look at fiscal components, educational components (curriculum), governance, and conduct family interviews."

There are 119 students in the Head Start in Donaldsonville. Head Start leaders include Dr. Martha M. Babin, Sandra Lawless, Tonya Harden, Dawn Dunn, Jill Gautreau, Karen Jeannine Massey, Enedina Castillo, and Harriet Brooks.

Another program the Donaldsonville Rotary has been working on is called the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The reading program has sponsored 150 students in the area, which allows them to read books and learn from them. Free books are mailed to children between birth and the age of five.

"We, as the Rotary, have contributed up to $3,000 dollars every year to this program, which have been funds from this club," School Board member Robyn Delaney said.

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