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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Lafourche library branches win Ezra Jack Keats grants

Lafourche library branches win Ezra Jack Keats grants

Five Lafourche Parish Public Library branches have received an Ezra Jack Keats Foundation mini grant to deliver creative, multicultural programs in the coming year.

Ezra Jack Keats was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books.

To qualify for the grant named in his honor, an applicant must propose a program designed to foster creative expression and interaction within a diverse community. The programs must also relate to some aspect of Keats’ work.

This year, the Foundation found that the Choctaw, Golden Meadow, Lockport, Raceland, and South Lafourche branches succeeded in that aim.

The library branches are among 64 schools and libraries in 26 states to receive the grant in 2016 and are the only recipients this year in Louisiana. Here’s a breakdown of the planned projects.


The Lockport Branch Library, 720 Crescent Avenue, is asking for help in creating a video that features recreations of historic scenes and helps to tell the story of Lockport, Louisiana.

In this eight-part workshop, participants will create sets, characters, and storyboards for a stop-action video dedicated to their community. Workshop sessions will take place at 4 p.m. on August 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, and 25. The library is looking for help in all aspects of the video’s production. Those interested should drop by the library or call 532-3158 to sign up or for more information.


The Raceland Branch Library, 177 Recreation Drive, will host Dreams in Light and Shadow, based on Keats’ book Dreams. The program, to run from September 7 through September 28, will feature a four-week workshop a mixed media literacy workshop that will allow children to create art that is representative of their personal fears and future positive dreams. Participants’ final art pieces will be on display at the library.


Drawing on Keats’ emphasis of multiculturalism in his works and the use of gumbo as a metaphor for multiculturalism, participants in the South Lafourche Branch’s Gumbo is Good program will create a multicultural mural representing their ideas about multiculturalism along Bayou Lafourche.

Children’s original artwork will be incorporated into the mural for display in the library, with a giant foam gumbo pot, or melting pot, using for a backdrop. This project will be held throughout October.


The Golden Meadow Branch Library, 1403 N. Bayou Drive, is celebrating Keats’ 100th birthday this year with a three-week long celebration in November involving Keats’ books, a variety of crafts, and even cupcake decorating. The programs are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on November 2, November 9, and November 16.

For more information about these programs, contact the library branch where they will be held.

Katina Gaudet is the librarian at the South Lafourche Branch Library. She can be reached at 632-7140 or