It’s back to school and bye-bye to summer for students across town. The New Beginnings Schools Foundation — a citywide network of neighborhood charter schools in New Orleans — is offering ways for parents to stay involved with their children’s education.

Parental involvement goes beyond visiting the school’s campus, said Val Marshall, a parent and foundation board member. “These tips will help parents create a plan that allows them to become involved with their child’s education in a meaningful way”:

Talk to your child about the importance of education.

Keep your child’s records up to date, including vaccination and other medical records, as well as up-to-date parental contact information.

Read to and with your child, and have your child read to you daily.

Check your child’s book bag each morning to ensure they are not unknowingly bringing prohibited items to school.

Ask your child about their school day, including homework assignments and any issues or concerns they may have.

Meet with your child’s teachers regularly to monitor progress. Most schools have scheduled orientation sessions and parent conferences.

Become familiar with school lunch menus and discuss concerns with leaders.

Become familiar with high school graduation requirements.

Learn about available sports and other extracurricular activities.

Become familiar with preparing your child for life after high school, including career preparedness and application for college scholarships and financial aid.

New Beginnings Schools Foundation is located at 2045 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 415. The phone number is (504) 280-2309.

New health care career program offered

If you are looking for a career in health care, a tuition-free training and development program is being offered by Delgado Community College, Ochsner Health System, JOB1 and Providence Community Housing. The medical assistant training program targets unemployed and underemployed people in the New Orleans area. The partners providing the program were brought together by a grant from New Orleans Works, housed at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. The program covers a four-month period in which students receive classroom and clinical instruction.

Students will receive on-the-job training through rotations in a wide range of clinical departments at Ochsner facilities. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalency, have successfully completed a drug screening and criminal background check and must be able to commit to the 16-week program, to be held Oct. 6 through Jan. 29.

Those who successfully complete the program and hiring requirements will have the opportunity to interview and be hired as a full-time medical assistant with benefits at one of Ochsner’s New Orleans-area neighborhood health centers.

Apply online at by Aug. 28. For information, contact Kim Tubre at (504) 671-6465.

Burger benefit aids foodbank

The third annual Burgers, Bourbon & Beer extravaganza, benefiting Second Harvest Foodbank, will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive.

The event is for adults 21 and older and will feature slider-sized burgers served by a dozen restaurants and paired with a specialty bourbon, cocktail or Abita beer.

Chefs will vie for “Best Burger” bragging rights the “People’s Choice” award. And most importantly, the event supports Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission to fight hunger in our community. For information, visit

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at