Best Practices
 

CITY OF NEW IBERIA
Mayor Cliff Aucoin

Summer Enrichment and Food

In 1993, newly-elected mayor Cliff Aucoin first recognized the need to provide high-quality meals like those provided during the school year under the national school lunch and breakfast program during school vacation, and he recognized the need to expand the city's year-old federal summer lunch program to children in needy areas of the city. The Mayor also recognized the need to strengthen a summer recreation program in the same lower income neighborhood where participation in it was sagging due to a lack of funds.

The City of New Iberia teamed up with the Iberia Parish School Board to offer a Chapter I summer enrichment and summer food program at Park Elementary School with the assistance of regular classroom teachers. The summer enrichment program provided reinforcement of learning skills and enrichment experiences for low socio-economic children from three different area elementary schools while the summer food program provided hot meals for breakfast and lunch for all children 18 years and younger, regardless of socio-economic status, race, or ethnic background.

Mayor Aucoin entered the city's Parks and Recreation Department into a collaborative effort with the Iberia Parish School Board and the federal summer food program. He encouraged the School Board to apply for a state education grant to provide recreational opportunities for these Chapter I students and instructed the Parks and Recreation Department head to develop activities for these students.

The Parks and Recreation Department head developed recreational activities that would teach students certain "life" skills and provide a supervised play environment. The "life" skills taught were tennis, swimming and cooking, as well as arts and humanities. Dance, poetry, basic art and mural paintings were taught.

Through this cooperative endeavor the City of New Iberia served an average of 512 children per day, providing hot meals, educational activities, laughter and excitement to a summer vacation that would have been uneventful for many of these lower income children.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (318) 369-2300

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