ULM giving $500 scholarships to all 3rd graders in Ouachita

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Author Cindy Foust clutches her book There’s A Bridge On The Bayou” as she gives a reminder to the group of third graders visiting the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe on Tuesday. She wants to make sure that they know the importance of this book, which is being given to all 3rd graders in Ouachita Parish.

“You’ve got to keep this somewhere really safe, okay?” says Foust.

The day’s visitors are from Sallie Humble Elementary, who are taking part in ULM’s celebration of its 90th anniversary and its 9th president Dr. Ronald Berry. The book is based on Berry’s life. But it doesn’t just tell Berry’s story. It’s actually valuable. A page inside the book is a $500 scholarship.

“He has a servant’s heart, and his inspiration, um, is always to help others,” Faust said of Berry.

The story guides the reader through the possibilities offered by the university.

“That’s the premise behind the book; it’s to give a child hope, maybe some direction and plant the seed that no dream is too big,” Foust said.

About 2,500 books will be distributed. A representative will take the books to the other schools in the parish. They also teamed up with The United Way to promote the importance of reading.

Kim Lowrey with United Way said if a third-grader “isn’t reading on grade level by third grade, they’re four times more likely to drop out of high school.”

They hope these books and the scholarship gift will help kids’ dreams of higher education come true.

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