UW-Madison: Badgers add a school visit to New Orleans agenda

Contact: Justin Doherty, (608) 225-1891, [email protected]

MADISON — New Orleans is a Saints and Hornets town, but some Wisconsin Badgers are hoping to cultivate some young converts ahead of Thursday’s NCAA Tournament game with Butler University.

A pep band, cheerleaders and Bucky Badger will spend part of Thursday morning at a surprise pep rally at Woodmere School in Harvey, La., on the city’s West Bank. Chancellor Biddy Martin also plans to attend.

The event, which will celebrate the completion of a portion of the school’s state mandated testing, is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the school, 3191 Alex Kornman Boulevard, Harvey, La.

The Wisconsin group will connect with grade school students along with UW alums and Teach for America participants Karen Feldman and Alissa Schneeberg. Feldman is a special education teacher with a 5th grade class and Schneeberg teaches first grade.

Both have been working hard to teach their students about Wisconsin in addition to regular studies. It was a thrill when the Badgers advanced to play in the Sweet 16 in the city.

“All the students have ‘Proud to be a Badger’ stickers on their notebooks and love Bucky,” Feldman says. “Alissa’s class can put my students’ affinity for Bucky to shame, though! They know ‘On Wisconsin,’ and know how to Bucky among other things. ”

“Another fun fact about Alissa’s class – the kids can put together a puzzle of all of the Wisconsin counties,” she says. “Guaranteed they don’t yet know all of the Louisiana Parishes, but they know the Wisconsin counties.”

Martin says she’s excited to meet Feldman and Schneeberg, but also wants to convey the importance and excitement of higher education to students there. Feldman says Harvey is a severely low-income community with 95 percent of students receiving free/reduced price lunches.

The school, which has been visited by both the Saints and Hornets, is currently in a modular campus because the building was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The new building is going up next door, to be opened this coming school year.