Back to School Summit motivates students

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2012



EDGARD – Community members from all parts of the west bank of St. John the Baptist Parish gathered Thursday evening for a rally to get kids and parents motivated for the start of the new school year.

Girls in Action, an all female empowerment group, held its third annual Back to School Summit Thursday at West St. John Elementary. The evening featured motivational speeches, singing and dancing, as well as tips from the St. John School Board and Sheriff’s Office on how to be successful in the coming school year.

The keynote speaker for the summit was Sheriff Mike Tregre, who stressed the importance of staying focused and being eager to learn.

“I know a lot of people who would love to trade places with you guys and girls heading back to school, but they can’t because they are in jail,” Tregre said. “The sad part about being sheriff is that you see a lot of young people with God-given talent who are confined to a cell. They get fed terrible food, there are no video games, and there is only one bathroom for everyone. Not the kind of life anyone wants to lead.”

Tregre addressed both the youngsters heading back to school and their parents, who must also play a role in classroom success.

“We are all in this together,” Tregre said. “Everyone needs to come together as a family for this community to succeed. Some of the people in this audience are destined for great things, but they need support from everyone.”

Tregre addressed the new parishwide curfew laws that mandate all minors be off the street by 9 p.m. on school nights and 10 p.m. on weekends. He also encouraged some of the children to get involved in the Sheriff’s Office Young Marines Program.

“There is not one young man or young lady on the west bank involved in the Young Marines,” Tregre said. “I’m going to have deputies out here recruiting you guys.”