Letter: Magnolia Woods as real as schools get

I am a volunteer Reading Friend at Magnolia Woods Elementary and I find a recent statement from Lionel Rainey, spokesman for the St. George incorporation committee, to be uninformed and self-serving. Mr. Rainey was asked where the children living in the Gardere area would attend school if St. George gets its school district. These children presently attend Highland, Wildwood or Magnolia Woods Elementary Schools, the closest elementary schools to their homes. In his reply, Mr. Rainey stated that he doesn’t consider these to be “real schools anyway.” Every day, the teachers and staff at Magnolia Woods Elementary take in children, who live in extreme poverty (more than 90 percent of the students receive free/reduced lunch) and provide these children with structure, discipline and yes, an excellent education. As a Reading Friend to several kindergartners at the school, I have personally seen the results of this hard work and dedication. Specifically, I have seen kindergartners who started the school year without recognizing all their letters read with pride and joy by the end of the year. These results are reflected in Magnolia Woods Elementary being recognized as a Top Gains School by the Louisiana Department of Education. In fact, it is the highest scoring school in the district without a magnet or gifted and talented program. So Mr. Rainey, if Magnolia Woods Elementary isn’t a real school, what is?

Leslie Defley


Baton Rouge