Baton Rouge community
By: Donna Saurage

Why I Support New Schools for Baton Rouge

The Community Coffee Fund has supported New Schools for Baton Rouge (NSBR) since the idea for the organization was first discussed. Having been involved in education in Baton Rouge for many years, I saw something different when I met Chris Meyer and learned about his ideas for the organization. The ideas he presented represented a change in the way that things had been done in education.

After being involved in education for more than 50 years, we have seen the approach to education change every year. Each year changes to the schools were proposed to make education better for the city as a whole, but a system wide change has never materialized. With NSBR, the changes are bold and different. The organization has been committed to success from day one.

With the creation of an organization, with dedication to recruiting only the best school operators, the potential to absolutely change education and ensure all children can learn to the best of their ability exists. I’ve always had confidence that putting the Community Coffee name, our funding, and our personal support behind New Schools for Baton Rouge would result in progress toward systematic change. The focus on helping children learn has been paramount to that confidence. NSBR places the child at the top of the pyramid when making decisions. Every decision goes back to “what is best for the child?”

Investing in ideas that change the education environment will bring about the change that will have the most impact. Through NSBR, we’ve been able to invest in what we see as making an achievement difference in the students, not just one aspect of their education experience. Our investments, both time investments and monetary investments, will result in a replicable model of education excellent that can be scaled to all communities.

Donna Saurage is the chair of the Community Coffee Citizenship Committee and a past member of the New Schools for Baton Rouge board. She has been active in the Baton Rouge civic community for more than 50 years. She has served as Chair of Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, and the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
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