Thursday, October 18, 2012
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – The Art of Charm School, a local organization founded by Reserve resident, Briena Johnson, strives to educate young girls about manners, etiquette and “ladylike” behavior. On Monday, October 15, Johnson held an open house at Bot’s Place to showcase the school and its participants. Attendees were treated to dance, song and other performances by Charm School students, as well as a puppet show and inspirational speakers. “I started Charm School because a girl in my community needed help. From then I decided I wanted to help more girls; keep them out of trouble and surround them with positive people. I coordinated Charm School with the school year so I could check up on them at school and see how they are doing,” said Johnson. Currently 21 young girls, ranging in ages from 7 to 17 are enrolled in the school.
Parish President Natalie Robottom was one of the featured speakers stressing a strong faith, education, and hard work as the keys to success. “Have faith and be open to God’s plan - do not rely on anyone to validate you, validate yourself,” said President Robottom. She added, “You should seek out positive role models and learn from the mistakes of others. If you set goals and remain focused, you will go far.” Keisha Sanders-Campbell shared her life’s story and the will to overcome early struggles through her faith and family. Also in attendance were Sheriff Mike Tregre, Council members Lucien Gauff and Jaclyn Hotard to support Charm School and its goals. "The Charm School Open House was a wonderful event showcasing not only the talent of the group but their commitment to excellence in every way. Ms. Briena Johnson should be applauded for her hard work and diligence to investing in the future of these young girls lives. I wish her and the Charm School participants much success,” said Jaclyn Hotard, Councilman-at-Large Division B.
“Charm school was very entertaining,” said Lucien Gauff, Councilman-at-Large Division A. "Thank you ladies for your hard work and dedication to success.”
It is mandatory that Charm School students take seven classes titled: The Art of Boot Camp, The Art of Real Life Situations, The Art of Etiquette, Social Awareness, and Purity, The Art of Health & Fitness, The Art of Making Smart Decisions, The Art of Growing Up, and The Art of Completion. At the conclusion of each class, the girls receive a charm for their charm bracelets, receiving their last charm at the Charm School Graduation in June. Extra classes are available to students such as praise dance, puppet ministry, mime, debate, speech, modeling, photography and drama.
Charm school is looking for positive female role models to assist with field trips, events, transportation and the graduation ceremony. The school is located at 168 East 19th Street in Reserve. To make a donation to Charm School or for more information on the program, call Briena at (504) 229-1098 or Taraven at (504) 939-7425.