A Back to School Stakeholder Committee has been created in order to host a back to school celebration for all Morehouse Parish students.

Valerie Noflin, a R.N. who serves as an instructor at Louisiana Delta Community College, was the one who came up with the idea.

“This was truly a vision that got placed in my heart to kind of bring my community together after everything that's happened in our school system,” Noflin said. “We do a lot of celebrating at the end of school. I wanted to do something different... I believe that our greatest resource is our children.”

Noflin brought her idea to the attention of former Bastrop Mayor Betty Alford-Olive, and they discussed plans for making it happen. According to Alford-Olive, the goal was to offer their support to Morehouse Parish Schools as a community endeavor.

Alford-Olive and Noflin held a committee meeting Aug. 4 to discuss their plans with other committee members such as Councilman Roy Armstrong, who is also a member of American Legion Post 501; Debbie Rogers with Capitol One Bank; Rev. Kenneth Pack, pastor of Trinity Assembly of God Church; and Rev. Barbara Johnson, assistant pastor at Second Missionary Baptist Church. Armstrong and Rogers were unable to attend the meeting due to scheduling conflicts, but other members were provided with details about some of the basic plans that have been made thus far for the celebration.

According to Alford-Olive, the Rev. R. V. Brown of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has agreed to speak at 3 p.m. Aug. 17 at Assembly of God Church as a kickoff for the planned events. Also, Graham will give be giving a motivational speech at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Bastrop High School Auditorium.

“The selected theme for this year is 'Soaring to New Heights' through 'Hope, Healing and New Height,'” Alford-Olive said in a recent press release for the event. “Other featured activities will include posting of the Color Guards by the veterans of Post 501 along with the Bastrop ROTC, performances by the bands, recognition of Teacher of the Year, updates by the Superintendent and other activities. Immediately following the program, refreshments will be served in the school cafeteria at 7 p.m. Free school supplies and incentives will be given out while they last. Community stakeholders, parents, educators, community leaders, board members, local and state officials, business owners and all partners of interest are invited.”

The committee has opened an account at Capitol One Bank in order to collect funds for academic incentives, door prizes and refreshments.

The back to school celebration will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Bastrop High School. For more information, contact Morehouse Parish School Superintendent Dr. George Noflin Jr. at the school board office at 281.5784