March 12, 2019

Meraux Foundation Announces Plans for 5th Mississippi River Delta Institute

Partners, Ripple Effect, launch free curriculum for documentary Station 15.

Meraux Foundation Offers Scholarships for Teacher Professional Development Programs 

The Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation is encouraging teachers across Louisiana to apply for the Waters to the Sea® Mississippi River Delta Institute, a professional development program taking place this summer on June 18-20, 2019 in St. Bernard Parish.

The fifth annual Delta Institute provides a field-based opportunity to inspire, educate, and prepare 3rd through 8th grade teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through experiential, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds.

“We are proud to continue our support of the Delta Institute, which we helped create to advocate for ‘one river thinking’ and to lead the nation in water education,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation which funds the program. “We invite teachers to apply for this truly impactful experience.”

The Delta Institute is a component of a national initiative developed by Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) in St. Paul, Minn. near the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

“With the Meraux Foundation’s ongoing support, we enable hundreds of teachers to improve the way they understand and teach science, and we help thousands of students connect with the natural world,” said Tracy Fredin, the director of CGEE. “Through this and other River Institutes, we are working to develop a community of water educators, with teachers in St. Bernard taking a prominent role.”

Educators are encouraged to apply for the Institute at Scholarship assistance is available, in part, through the generous financial assistance of the Meraux Foundation.

A feature of this year’s Institute will be a free, fully-scripted curriculum for the short documentary, Station 15, which was recently released by Ripple Effect. The film centers on high school student Chasity Hunter, who investigates New Orleans water infrastructure in the wake of the floods of August 2017. The curriculum, developed for students in grades 8 through 12, is designed to introduce students to basic water literacy—the city’s water infrastructure and its historical context—so that they may begin to see their fates entwined with the place they live.

Claire Anderson, the executive director of Ripple Effect and Kira Akerman, the director of Station 15, are both alums of the Delta Institute.

In addition to local teachers and those from the headwaters of the Mississippi River, teachers from Hawaii will also be participating in this years Delta Institute. This group of native Hawaiians speak an endangered language, which CGEE is working to help them save.

The Meraux Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in St. Bernard Parish, and given the parish’s position at the delta of one of the largest river systems in the world, the Institute is especially pertinent. The local program has grown into one of the Foundation’s most prominent environmental initiatives.

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October 30, 2019 Meraux Foundation Presents Bayou Road Balloon Festival
October 21, 2019 International Economic Development Council Honors Meraux Foundation President Rita Gue
June 25, 2019 Meraux Foundation Supports Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
June 22, 2019 Meraux Foundation’s 5th Annual Delta Institute Goes Global
June 21, 2019 Meraux Foundation Supports the Louisiana State Troopers Association
June 13, 2019 WYES Presents President’s Award to the Meraux Foundation