MOWW honors Steele as top police officer

The Lt. Gen. Troy H. Middleton Chapter of The Military Order of the World Wars honored Baton Rouge police Officer Donald Steele Jr. as its Baton Rouge Law Enforcement Officer of 2018 at a dinner celebration on Jan. 8. Steele said he accepted on behalf of his fellow officers who do the hard work everyday to keep the community safe.

Steele is a native of Selma, Alabama. He attended Southern University on a football scholarship, graduating in 2009 with a bachelor's in criminal justice administration and received a master’s in criminal justice investigations in 2015. He has a combination of 14 years in the criminal justice field from the private and public sector.

Steele, who joined BRPD in 2015, works in the Uniform Patrol Division. He was selected by his supervisors to accept the award based on his performance, dedication and ability to appropriately balance department goals with his civic duty.

Steele answered questions about his duties and spoke about safety and community trust.

Legion Post 38 hosts Children's Hospital party

The American Legion Nicholson Post 38 hosted the Children's Hospital Outpatient Center of Baton Rouge's Christmas celebration Dec. 21.

Santa and Mrs. Claus distributed gifts donated by Dudley DeBosier and Kean Miller law firms and the Baton Rouge Bar Association. The Louisiana State Troopers Association provided and served food and drinks. There were activities and face painting by Gale's Fabulous Faces. 

Torchbearer Beta has late Christmas brunch

Torchbearer Beta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met Jan. 8 at Sandy Bailey's home for a delayed Christmas brunch and chapter meeting. In attendance were Jean Leyda, Linda Musso, Juanita Coutee, Virginia Huffman, Verlyne LeBlanc and Bailey.

The chapter served at St. Vincent de Paul preparing sandwiches for Bags of Hope as its January service project. The members will collect the fronts of greeting cards for the St. Jude Ranch as its February service project. The card fronts are used to create new greeting cards and sold to support St. Jude’s projects.

Leyda spoke about the Ronald McDonald House, which operates in 64 countries to keep together families of children with critical illnesses.

The chapter was entertained Jan. 12 by sister chapter Laureate Alpha Alpha at Season to Taste, where they learned about olive oils and aged balsamic shipped in from different countries. Laureate Alpha Alpha presented each guest a sample bottle containing the oil of their choice and a gift card to La Madeleine’s, where they visited and had lunch.

Suburban Reviewers hear publisher David

McHugh David, publisher and managing editor of The Livingston Parish News, spoke to the Suburban Reviewers Book Club on Jan. 9 at the Old Denham Springs City Hall, a museum and tourism office.

David is the son of member Nancy David and her husband, the late Jeff David, who published the paper. McHugh spoke on the history and future of The News and the parish.

President Cissy Benton Grantham introduced new members Elizabeth Hornsby Smith and Kenna Karnish. Meeting hostesses were Jean Banta, Kathleen Dawkins, Juanita Latimer, Kathy Rainey Pickerell, Sharman Rainey and Sharlet Wax.

LSU professor wins literacy award

LSU Professor Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell was selected to receive the 2019 Light Up for Literacy Award from The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.

The award, which has been given annually since 2015, is presented with the State Library of Louisiana’s Center for the Book and is part of the state humanities council’s effort to honor individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities. Sulentic Dowell and the other award winners will be honored April 4 at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Bright Lights Awards Dinner in Lafayette.

Sulentic Dowell is the Cecil “Pete” Taylor Endowed Professor of Literacy and Urban Education at LSU. She is the author of several articles and books, the most recent of which is “The Literacy Leadership Guide for Elementary Principals: Reclaiming Teacher Autonomy and Joy.”

Prior to her work with LSU, she was an assistant superintendent in the East Baton Rouge Parish school system, where she oversaw literacy learning at 64 elementary school sites, directed professional development in literacy for nearly 1,500 teachers, and built more than 450 classroom libraries. Post-Hurricane Katrina, Sulentic Dowell created a service-learning project for pre-service teachers that led to the creation of classroom libraries for schoolchildren in New Orleans East.

Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.

Follow George Morris on Twitter, @GWMorris.