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Actress brings the arts to St. Helena Parish school

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GREENSBURG - Oscar nominated and award-winning actress Alfre Woodard made a special visit to the St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy on Monday.

More than 600 students welcomed Woodard to the school in St. Helena Parish as she toured the facility and held a master class for students.

The St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy is just one of the schools in the state chosen by the president's Committee on Arts and Humanities to be a part of the turnaround program. Actress Alfre Woodard has adopted the school as an official "turnaround" artist.

The program is designed to help low performing schools throughout the country incorporate the arts into their curriculum based on previous indications that connecting the humanities to school programs gives them a boost.

"Having arts integrated into the curriculum of a school from very young to high school makes an incredible difference in terms of the grade point averages, test scores and attendance," said Woodard. "It is just amazing."

Woodard has also adopted other schools in New Orleans and Houma, but said she hand-picked St. Helena for a special reason.

"Each part of Louisiana has something to offer, and people even within a state tend to forget about the middle," said Woodard. "Those legislatures need to know that this is ground zero. This is where the great things and the great people are going to come out of."

Under the program, the school gets art supplies, musical instruments and students will have the opportunity to take field trips to the opera.





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