New Orleans area briefs for March 17, 2013

Republican Women’s Club plans luncheon

The Republican Women’s Club of Jefferson Parish will hold its general meeting at luncheon 11 a.m. Thursday at Four Points by Sheraton New Orleans, 6401 Veterans Blvd.

Tony Ligi, executive director of the Jefferson Business Council, will be the guest speaker. Cost is $28. For more information email Aonetravel@aol.com or call (504) 466 4483.

STAIR recognized
for literacy program

Start the Adventure in Reading, known as STAIR, will be recognized at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ annual Awards Event to be held April at Houmas House in Darrow.

STAIR will receive plaques for hosting PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIMEĀ®, an award-winning family literacy program serving students from Lafayette Academy and ARISE Academy in Orleans Parish in 2012.

PRIME TIME, a six-week reading and discussion program, included sessions on such humanities themes as fairness, greed, courage, cleverness and determination.

A discussion leader and a storyteller introduced parents to the benefits and pleasures of reading and discussing stories with their children. Twenty seven families from the two schools participated.

Uruguay appoints honorary consul

Cesar Lurati is the newly appointed honorary consul of Uruguay for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Lurati will work to facilitate increased trade, travel and cultural exchange between the seven states and Uruguay. He succeeds longtime consul Julio Rios, who served his nation and the Corps for 27 years. Rios will remain in New Orleans and has been granted emeritus status by the Consular Corps.

Lurati is founder of Argos Marine Surveyors and Consultants in New Orleans and serves as South USA representative and worldwide port captain for Phoenix Bulk Carriers of Newport, R.I.

With the filling of this consular vacancy, the Consular Corps of New Orleans has 52 diplomatically recognized members representing five continents. The Consular Corps is led by Dean Andrea Garcia Guerra, consul general of Mexico. Staffing assistance for the Consular Corps is provided by the World Trade Center of New Orleans.

French Quarter fest seeking volunteers

The French Quarter Festival, set for April 11-14, is looking for volunteers to work four- to five-hour shifts at locations around the French Quarter in Jackson Square, the Riverfront and the Old U.S. Mint.

Volunteers will work at beverage, information and merchandise booths and will take surveys and work on support crew. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt and food and beverage tickets.

To register visit http://www.fqfi.org/frenchquarterfest/fqfi_volunteer.html or contact Kylee Kidder, manager of volunteer resources, at (504) 227-3120 or kylee@fqfi.org

WWII museum sets
student competition

The National WWII Museum will host the Louisiana History Day Contest April 20, welcoming top-notch history students from around the state.

The academic research program and competition is for students in grades 6-12 and is part of a nationwide hunt for the best budding historians.

The museum is the state sponsor for the competition, which is made possible by support from CenturyLink.

Students are placed in two divisions — middle school and high school — and must create a paper, exhibit, documentary, website or performance that explores an important historical episode or topic. Exhibits will be judged and the best will be entered in the National History Day competition to be held in June at the University of Maryland.

The theme for Louisiana History Day 2013 is “Turning Points in History: People, Events, Ideas.” Students are asked to focus their projects on local, national or international topics. Turning points include major political changes, but students can explore social, economic or cultural changes as well.

The top five projects per category from regional competitions will be entered in the state competition at The National WWII Museum, where a team of three judges will interview students and pick the winners.

The projects will be on display and an award ceremony will honor the top entries. The top two projects in each category from Louisiana will then advance to the national contest for June 9-13.

The Selley Foundation is providing travel stipends for students form the Monroe and Shreveport areas to travel to the competition. All students advancing to the national contest from Louisiana earn stipends of up to $500 for travel to College Park, Md.

Fellows program taking applications

The School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans is accepting applications for the 2013 Fellows program.

The program is designed to help school leaders improve their school performance scores with hands-on training and reforms in teaching methods, utilization of student data and building a school improvement team.

The deadline is April 1. Applications can call (504) 267-7239 or visit http://www.slc-gno.org/content/docs/Fellows%20Program%20Application%202013.pdf

More than 300 local school administrators have completed the program since 1997.

Magic performance scheduled for Slidell

Kevin Spencer, magician, therapist and advocate for the disabled, and his wife and partner, Cindy Spencer, will bring Theatre of Illusion to the Slidell Municipal Auditorium at 6 p.m. March 23.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis.

Spencer is also an adjunct professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

In 1988, he was badly injured in an automobile accident.

Following a prolonged recovery, Spencer and his wife collaborated with therapists to develop a program that uses simple magic tricks to help patients regain lost physical skills while increasing motivational levels and self-esteem. Today, the concepts of “magic therapy” are used in more than 2,000 rehabilitation facilities in more than 30 countries.

Spencer conducts continuing education workshops for therapists around the world.

Compiled by the
New Orleans bureau