Giving Back: No Kids Left Behind provides youth help

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

LAPLACE — Rondell Scott of LaPlace has always believed in providing an equal chance in life for all children, no matter the circumstances they were born into.
Small trips to the park to brighten children’s days with juice boxes, chips and onsite barbecues started growing into something larger as more people turned out.

With recreation, guidance and education as founding principles, Scott gathered a crew of board members with similar ideals and formed the nonprofit No Kids Left Behind in August.

Approximately 130 children attended the first No Kids Left Behind event, a Christmas Eve toy, T-shirt and backpack giveaway held alongside brightly burning bonfires.

Sunday marked the inaugural Easter celebration at Lutcher Park, where more than 160 children enjoyed live music, food, Easter basket giveaways, face painting, an Easter egg hunt and a spacewalk.

Scott plans to focus on education in upcoming events, considering it an important component to steering youth down the right path in life and decreasing incarceration rates.

“We want to show the community that No Kids Left Behind isn’t only about giving out toys,” Scott said. “We need to show our kids they can be anything they want to be with a good education, whether it’s becoming a doctor, lawyer or astronaut.”

The next No Kids Left Behind event, planned for June, will gift 100 books to the first 100 children in attendance, while scholarships will be awarded to top essay contest applicants.

Other ideas include hosting career days with motivational speakers at River Region libraries and providing winter clothing to underprivileged children. Scott said community events are free and open to the public, funded out-of-pocket by No Kids Left Behind board members and local sponsors.

Board members include CEO Rondell Scott, President Ronald Scott, Executive Vice President Ron James, Vice President Joshua Scott, Secretary Taiylor Watts, Secretary/Treasurer Janeira Smith, Comptroller Chantrell Johnson, Directors Antijuana James and Antoinette Francois, Trustee Michelle Riley and Officers JR Ricks, Ankia James, Darius James, Jermey James, Michael Johnson and Anthony Lennix.

Scott extends a sincere thank you to the following community sponsors who made the Easter celebration possible: Raising Cane’s, Catrina’s Design, Dominoes Pizza, Tiny Tim’s Creation, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, Zapp’s Potato Chips, Forever Getting Money, Culture Certified Talk Show, DJ Looney Tune and Coca-Cola.

Local businesses have been extremely receptive, Scott said, and he hopes to earn the support of River Region leaders who can aid in securing event locations.

The community can help No Kids Left Behind by sponsoring the organization, volunteering and bringing their children to events.

“In order to educate our kids and get them on the right path, we need as many people to participate as possible,” Scott said. “It truly takes a village to raise a child, and no one is turned away.”

As vice president, James coordinates events, contacts schools and reaches out to community sponsors.

He hopes No Kids Left Behind expands past Louisiana to take on a national or global scale.

“I think we should wise up,” James said. “Everyone says kids are the future, but we need to invest in them. You never know what young minds are capable of if you don’t push them. When we are older, the kids today are going to be the adults making decisions for us.”

James grew up in a crowded neighborhood with few activities, and he found his best memories stemmed from the community uniting as one. He sees today’s children are stuck in a box molded by social media, reality television and other negative influences.

“We’re coming together to show the kids the world is bigger than the box they’re living in,” James said. “It’s not just about having fun, either. We can do that any day, but we also want to teach them about finance, technology and entrepreneurship.”

For more information, contact Scott at 985-210-9739, email or visit No Kid’s Left Behind on Facebook and Instagram.