Bobby Charles

The Blue Rose Foundation Honors a Local Music Legend With Early Education Scholarships for Kids in New Orleans

In an effort to provide access to early education, and provide additional COVID emergency support, The Blue Rose Foundation just awarded a scholarship grant to a New Orleans school in the name of one of the city's beloved musicians - Bobby Charles. The Joey Georgusis Center for Children, which serves young children with quality and developmentally appropriate care, will receive the 2020 Blue Rose Foundation (BRF) Bobby Charles Scholarship Grant award. The preschool is part of a child development center providing a high-quality learning environment for its students, who come from the diverse community of Delgado Community College, while also providing hands-on experience for early childhood education majors at the college. The BRF Grant will fund scholarships to preschool children from families with economic needs. Part of the mission of The Blue Rose Foundation is to honor those who made an impact on the lives of people in the community. This 2020 scholarship is named in honor of the late Louisiana-born singer/songwriter Bobby Charles, and offered by singer Shannon McNally. McNally is a mother herself and understands the importance of preschool education.

“Preschool is a particularly powerful time. When kids are three, four, five-years old, their brain is like a sponge,” said McNally. “What’s given to them sets them up for the rest of their lives. The more positive stimulation they get, the more successful they’re going to be. It’s the duty of a civilization to make sure children are set up to succeed: mentally, socially, and spiritually.”

A native Cajun,Bobby Charles was an American Singer/Songwriter and a dear friend to Shannon McNally. She and Charles made a record with Dr. John, another New Orleans music great. Charles made an impression on her.

“Bobby Charles was an incredible songwriter from south Louisiana. A bit of a recluse and free of spirit, Bobby was interested in big, simple truths. Clean water, gardens, teaching children about clean water, the food supply, the earth and spirit,” McNally remembered about Charles. “So this scholarship in his name is really spot on.” “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has shown that our nation’s preschools and daycare centers need critical financial support, as they struggle with distance learning or safe in-person learning without the funds provided to K-12,” said Sarah Poletto, Co-Executive Director, The Blue Rose Foundation. “There are a lot of sectors that need help these days but preschools and early childhood education is one that has shown to be a good investment and traditionally underfunded. Without additional public support, only 18% of child care programs expect to survive a year.” "Children and families are facing a plethora of challenges today, including the loss of employment, wages, closing of schools and daycares, etc.” said Carol Alexander-Lewis, Director of the Joey Georgusis Center for Children. “We’re thrilled the Blue Rose Foundation is working to alleviate some of these worries by providing grants to preschools for scholarships to children of financially disadvantaged families. The Joey Georgusis Center for Children is providing opportunities to learn and help level the playing field on two fronts: for the preschooler as well as for the community college student.”

The Joey Georgusis Center for Children, on the campus of Delgado Community College, is a 8,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art center uniquely situated to help children in need.

With this scholarship grant, Shannon McNally honors Bobby Charles – helping to set up children to be more successful – in a town that will always hold her heart, New Orleans. A quick search of your local area will turn up many worthy recipient preschools should you have money to spare these days. Or you can donate to The Blue Rose Foundation to help fund preschool education scholarships.

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