Excerpts from 2004 article "Sunshine for Kids Gala", by Karen Martin of "The Advocate", a news publication serving the state of Louisiana.

Sunshine for Kids Gala
by Karen Martin/The Advocate

Louisiana National Guard Specialist Tonesha Wilson, Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau and the Sunshine Foundation's Sally Burdette, from left, read "You Are Sunshine" to kindergarteners at South Boulevard Elementary. Members of the guard, who have been distributing the book since 2000, will be honored by the Sunshine Foundation on Nov. 10.

The site of military trucks rolling into a community dispersing scores of Louisiana National Guard members is familiar to those who have been through a hurricane.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, guardsmen are becoming an increasingly important part of the war effort.

The Louisiana National Guard, however, plays another role much closer to home.

Since 2000, at the request of then first lady Alice Foster, members of the guard have been handing out a book called "You Are Sunshine" to kindergarten students in the state's public, private and parochial schools.

For that effort, the Louisiana National Guard and its commander, Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau will be the honorees at the third annual Sunshine for Kids Gala, sponsored by the nonprofit Sunshine Foundation, Nov. 10.

Excerpts from Sunday, November 21st, 2004 article "Sunshine Foundation honors Guard Commander Landreneau", by Carol Anne and Mary of "The Advocate", a news publication serving the state of Louisiana.

Sunshine Foundation honors Guard commander Landreneau
Carol Anne and Mary/The Advocate

Sunshine Gala

Enjoying the Sunshine for Kids Gala are, from left, author Shirley Porter, Alice and Mike Foster and Dolores and Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau.


The Sunshine Foundation honored the Louisiana National Guard and its commander Maj. Gen Bennett C. Landreneau at the nonprofit's third annual Sunshine for Kids Gala on Nov. 10 at the Governor's Mansion.

Since 2000, members of the guard have distributed more than 350,000 copies of the foundation's "You are Sunshine" to kindergarten students in public, private and parochial schools throughout the state. The book, which was written and donated by Shirley Porter, addresses self-esteem in youngsters. In addition to distributing the book , guard members read the book to the students.

A buffet was provided by Countice Breaux of Catering by Countice in Baldwin, Tom Dill of Dillon Catering, Michael Dournit of a la carte of Lafayette, Susan Strange of Unique Cuisine, Chef K.D. of Louisiana Legends in Gonzales and Bobby and Dot Breaux of Chef Bobby & Dot Catering in Kaplan.

The even included a silent auction by Greg Walker and entertainment by "Louisiana's Zydeco Fiddling Sensation" Amanda Shaw, the Reginald Sanders Jazz Trio, Miss Southeastern Louisiana University Jennifer Soileau and a chorus of French immersion students from South Boulevard Immersion Academic Magnet School.

Sally Burdette and Debbie Broussard co-chaired the gala committee of Ann Carmouche, Carl Burdette, Denny Chustz, Russell Gaspard, Liz Hampton, Nedra Ourso Loftin, Charlotte McGarr, Jan Pourciau, Guy Recotta, Mike Rood, Irene Shepherd, Carol Ann Sunichrast. Mike Wade and Porter.

Sponsors were Gulf States Health Services, Inc.; Talbot, Carmouche & Marcello; SLEMCO; Dwight and Medra Andrus; Wally Broussard; Chevron Texaco; ConocoPhillips; Crescent River Port Pilots' Association; Ken and Kathy Entes; ExxonMobil; First Guaranty Bank; Alice and Mike Foster.

Liz Hampton, Hibernia Bank; F.M. Hood & Associates; Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry; Louisiana Independent Oil & Gas Association; Louisiana Lottery Corp.; Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association; and Alvin and Pat Smith.

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Community Relations Department
Judicial Administrator's Office, State of Louisiana
1555 Poydras Street, Suite 1540
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-3701

Summer 2003 - Volume 6, No. 2 article, "IPSO FACTO... The Sun Shines On", the "Court Column", a news publication serving the state of Louisiana.

IPSO FACTO... The Sun Shines On

When sitting as a district court judge, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Catherine D. Kitty Kimball presided over family matters where all too often she saw children who never seemed to hear a kind word. It was my dream to find a way to bring that kind word to each and every Louisiana child. In 1998 her dream came true in the form of a book entitled You Are Sunshine, authored by her friend, psychotherapist Shirley Porter and brightly illustrated by Lisa Homan-Conger. You Are Sunshine is written to address issues that affect young children's self-esteem and while it is designed to be read to children, it also contains information on ways parents and caregivers can build a child's self-concept.


book4-3_smallIn 1998, there were originally 18,000 copies of You Are Sunshine in print. The long term goal was to print and distribute 160,000 copies of the book to Louisiana four and five year olds. Five years later, the You Are Sunshine Foundation, Inc. has printed and given away 300,000 books. The distribution books has been a project adopted by the Louisiana National Guard. Uniformed guardsman visit classrooms across the state to read Sunshine to the children and to give copies away. Recently 5000 copies of a French language edition of You Are Sunshine were created children in Acadiana's French emersion classrooms. The next place You Are Sunshine is likely to pop up is at the Governor's Mansion.... Sunshine Garden is planned for the grounds in recognition of the book and its very important message. For more information about Sunshine Foundation, Inc. contact Shirley Porter at (225)751-5800 or visit the web site at www.sunshinefoundationinc.org.

221 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
P.O. Box 5310, Lafayette, LA 70502

Friday, September 26th, 2003 article, "French books shine in classroom", by Sebreana Domingue of "The Lafayette Daily Advertiser", a news publication serving Lafayette, Louisiana.

French books shine in classroom
sporter daily advJohn Rowland/The Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Nicole Boudreaux, left, and Shirley Porter talk about Porter's book, You are Sunshine, which has been translated into French by Boudreaux and Zachary Richard. The book will be given to first- and second-graders in the Lafayette Parish School System's French Immersion program.

LAFAYETTE Paul Breaux Middle School had a bit of sunshine delivered to its door Thursday.

Boxes of a book brimming with color and rich in French language were dropped off at the school to present to first- and second-graders who take part in French immersion programs around the parish and state.

"Tu es un rayon de Soleil" by Shirley Porter is a book promoting self-esteem and value for all children, said Eddie Richard, who helped to spearhead the donation of 2,500 copies of the book to students in French immersion in 29 schools in Louisiana.

"We made an application with Entergy and got a $1,000 grant to purchase books for the immersion program," Richard said.

As the president of Action Cadienne and in conjunction with his work with the Confederation of Acadian Families, Richard approached The Sunshine Foundation Inc. based in Baton Rouge for assistance.

The foundation produces "You are Sunshine" and distributes it to kindergarten children around the state.

"We felt it was a moral book, for lack of a better word, and it was aligned with everything we wanted to say," Richard said. "We got the idea to do it in French."

"The intent of the book with 60,000 English copies distributed in the state to kindergarten students is simple," Porter said.

"The message is you are sunshine," Porter said. "Even though we might not say it as much as we should, we hope they really know every child is worthwhile and it was done to encourage parents to support them."

Lafayette Parish has five elementary schools and two middle schools serving 830 French immersion students who will benefit from the donation of the books, said Nicole Boudreaux, an instructional services teacher with the school system.

"This is wonderful for us and I love that it has adult messages in English on each page," Boudreaux said. "Parents can see what it is all about, too."

The book was translated by Boudreaux and Richard's son, Louisiana musician Zachery Richard.

The book's reading level is perfect for first- and second-graders, and books about self-esteem and character education are not always available for younger kids, Boudreaux said.

Books written in Canada, where most of the French immersion program books are produced, often talk about harsh winters and seasonal changes that students in Louisiana cannot relate to, Boudreaux said.
book4-3"This book being done locally helps because it is truly representative of this area," she said. "It even has more of a mix, racially with the illustrations, that we don't find in other books."

Copies of the book will be put in school libraries and older students at Paul Breaux Middle School will get to read the French stories to students at Vermilion Elementary, Boudreaux said.

James Bourque, vice president of the Confederation of Acadian Families, said supporting French immersion programs in Lafayette and around the state is important to keeping the French language alive in Acadiana.

"I grew up speaking French first as a language," Bourque said. "Without French immersion, it is going to die out and we won't have any hope to keep it alive."

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