<span>As the New Orleans Saints players gear up to begin their off-season conditioning program on Monday, students of Louisiana public schools are getting ready for a conditioning test of their own.
Each year, fourth and eighth graders in the Louisiana public school system are required to take one of the state's standardized scholastic exams called the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test, which was designed to measure a student's skills and knowledge before advancing to the next grade. Students must pass the exam in order to be promoted and those who score at a basic level are considered to be on the right path in their preparation for high school and beyond.
The exam (which begins on Tuesday) typically ignites a little anxiety in its anticipation among both the students and teachers administering the exam. Sometimes, motivation from an outside source can help calm them and provide a little encouragement as well. Saints Running Back, Reggie Bush, and Saints Team Ambassador, Michael Lewis, had the same idea in mind.
As part of the Domino's Literacy Program, students at Mary Bethune Elementary in New Orleans were surprised with a visit by Bush on Tuesday morning. He spoke to the kids about the program's platform which promotes literacy and the importance earning a good education while stressing that they must also learn to develop good study habits. Bush also explained the significance of determination and working hard to achieve one's goals, amidst other worthwhile points of advice.
Lewis spent time with students at W.L. Abney Elementary School in Slidell on Wednesday, a visit scheduled through his Delivering Education with Michael Lewis school program. In offering his dosage of advice, Lewis encouraged the students to seek assistance from their teachers or a fellow student tutor when they need help understanding an assignment. He also wanted the children to know that respecting their peers and teachers helps to create an environment that would be more conducive to learning.
Following the talks of both Bush & Lewis, each set of well-behaved and very attentive students at these Title I schools had a chance to ask the guys questions of their own. Students with correct answers during the trivia session received autographed items by Bush or Lewis; although, no child was left empty –handed as each of them received Saints stickers and/or pencils as well.
Good luck to the students of Bethune Elementary, Abney Elementary, and all other students in schools across our state who are preparing for the LEAP test!