Robin Miller, Jackson-Jones, Jocinda
by Jocinda Jackson
August is a very exciting month for East Carroll Parish. The children are going back to school and it’s time for the biggest festival in the community, The Louisiana Soul Food Heritage Festival. The Louisiana Soul Food Heritage Festival is a celebration of music, food, fun and fellowship. Bikers from all over the region come out and participate in the motorcycle show and show off their motorcycles. Blues singers, bands, church groups and R&B singers come out to perform on the big stage and visitors from all around party on the dancefloor all night long. The festival is a fun time for the entire community and it’s the biggest celebration of the year before school starts. The Governor’s office participated in the festival this year and passed out free school supplies to over 750 families in East Carroll Parish.
Many exciting things have happened throughout the summer to help prepare the youth for the upcoming school year such as, summer school, mentorship programs and more. Children were able to come out and learn new skills, participate in dance classes, and practice test taking skills. “We are looking forward to a great school year. There was a good summer school session that was offered to our students, and they took advantage of it to help out with some extra learning and also there was a mentoring ship program offered this summer to help enhance our student’s learning ability,” said Jackie Folks, School Board President. “It was a success; therefore, I know that we are going to have a great year. We are achieving and believing that we will continue educating our children.”
Other school related events that are happening around East Carroll Parish are parent teacher meetings and back-to-school school supply drives at the local medical offices. Cadence Gray, an active HYPE member stated, “I’m excited about the upcoming school year because of all the opportunities and programs my school has to offer in bettering my education.” The youth enjoy being apart of 4-H, HYPE, extra-curricular activities and holding leadership positions throughout the school year to set a positive example for their peers and to also prepare for the real-world. 4-H camps, workshops and field trips were held throughout the summer along with many other fun events that helped the youth develop important life skills. 4-H programming will continue throughout the school year and the youth are excited to see what’s in store. “I look forward to a fantastic school year with East Carroll 4-H, filled with exciting, innovative hands on school programs, project clubs, field trips, workshops, overnight camping opportunities, and much more,” said Lekeisha Powell, East Carroll Parish 4-H Leader/Parish Chair.
The one thing that makes the East Carroll Parish school year even more motivating for the youth is the consistent presence of those they look up to in the community. Elected officials show great interest in the children’s success and are present at all school-related activities. Youth feel empowered and inspired to develop great working relationships with community leaders and look forward to being community advocates through extra-curricular programs that are offered. “The youth in East Carroll Parish make us proud through their hard work and dedication in the classroom and we can’t wait to see what the upcoming school year will bring,” said Sucletter Brown-Crye, Town of Lake Providence Alderwoman.