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The Power of Reading (2018)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2018-08-22

Duration: 00:57:05

Subjects: Literature | Filmed panel discussions | Literacy | Reading


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Merrick, Robyn Host
  • Dedeaux, Ashley Interviewee
  • Dedeaux, Jordan Interviewee
  • White, Regan Interviewee
  • Robertson, Gary Interviewee
  • White, John Interviewee
  • Cavalier, John Interviewee
  • McNabb, Brandi Speaker
  • Joshua, Denisa Speaker
  • Couhig, Missy Speaker
  • Knight, Kim Speaker
  • Davis, Jim Speaker
  • Melancon, Girard Speaker
  • Ramrakhiani, Hrilinia Speaker
  • Wascom, Kent Speaker
  • Jones, Jacqueline Speaker
  • Heitman, Spencer Speaker
  • Cavalier, John Speaker
  • Daugherty, Ellen Speaker
  • Robertson, Gary Panelist
  • Hamilton, Rebecca Panelist
  • Heitman, Danny Panelist
  • Restovic, Miranda Panelist
  • Barrett, Linda-Marie Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from August 22, 2018, features Robyn Merrick leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on improving literacy in Louisiana. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Ashley Dedeaux, parent; Jordan Dedeaux, a sixth grade student; Regan White, PRIME TIME program coordinator; Gary Robertson, the executive director of the Adult Literacy Advocates; Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White; and John Cavalier, the owner of Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs. The audience members then discuss their work with literacy programs in Louisiana. A panel of experts then joins the audience to answer their questions. The panelists are: Gary Robertson, the executive director of Adult Literacy Advocates in Baton Rouge; Rebecca Hamilton, the State Librarian of Louisiana; Danny Heitman, an author and columnist for The Advocate newspaper; Miranda Restovic, the president of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities; and Linda-Marie Barrett, the assistant executive director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. They discuss: their role in dealing with the state’s literacy challenges; the books on the Great American Read list; the transformative books in their lives; the role community colleges can play in improving the state’s literacy rate; and how to encourage parents to read with their children. This episode was recorded on the campus of Baton Rouge Community College. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick