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New Beginnings board launches search for parent reps; Saturday program popular

The New Beginnings Schools Foundation will soon begin looking for two parent representatives to join the board, members announced at a meeting Monday evening.

The board voted Monday to create a nominating committee comprised of members Leslie Bouie, Shelia Danzey and Carla Major.

The new committee will select parents for interviews based on three criteria: that the adult is the legal guardian of a student attending a New Beginnings school; that the student has been enrolled for at least one year, and that the parent is not a New Beginnings employee.

Applications are due by March 17, and the nominating committee’s recommendations will be presented to the board at its April meeting, board chairman Ramsey Green said.

“I want it soon here, but I don’t want to do it in a shotgun manner,” Green said, about the process of adding parents to the board. “This has to be a thoughtful process.”

The board agreed to prepare a list of questions ahead of the applicant interviews, focused on volunteerism, budgeting and other issues that the board regularly deals with, Sametta Brown, the network’s chief executive officer, said.

Such questions “would help you give parents a sense of the level of understanding of how the board helps management of this network,” Brown said.

In other news, the foundation has started participating with a New Orleans Kids Partnership, Brown said.

The partnership, called Great Resources Where Y’at (GRoW), supports the engagement and empowerment of students from the 70122 or 70126 zip codes, according to the New Orleans Kids Partnership website.

As part of the partnership, community-based activities are currently being held on Saturdays at Medard H. Nelson Charter School, Brown said.

“It’s a really good program, and we’re happy to be a part of this and help the community,” Brown said.

The network integrates physical fitness, nutrition education and other activities with tutoring, biking, yoga, cooking class and more.

Parents can drop kids off from 9-3 for free, or they can stay and participate in adult activities like Zumba, Brown said. She added that the attendance was at least 100 students on the opening day, Jan. 18, and has averaged between 60 and 70 students since.

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