The Bayou Footprint Initiative is a group of high school students from various areas of Baton Rouge. The initiative was started by the Barefoot Pedal Foundation as a way to continue the legacy of Jeff Nola, a former Catholic High School teacher. These students, like Jeff, are dedicated to the ideals of education and service. We hope to leave a legacy or footprint of scholarship and service in on our community. Drawing upon the positive experiences of our schoolings, we hope to inspire others on a similar path of education and service.
While considering how to best serve our community, we began to realize how blessed we had been to attend schools where the faculty is dedicated to its students and the facilities are immaculate with tremendous resources. Unfortunately, this is not the case for every student in the Baton Rouge area. Many students have dedicated teachers trying their best to help students learn and grow, but lack an environment conducive to education. A student’s environment is an essential part of his or her education. When students are in a clean inviting environment they are more secure and able to engage the material better. This is especially true for elementary students who are just starting to be exposed to education. One place that has always been a sanctuary for those trying to learn and grow has been the library. Today, however, many school libraries, particularly those in elementary schools, are in need of revitalization. The Bayou Footprints Initiative wants to help these students by revitalizing these libraries and exposing the students to even more positive influences in their lives.
Starting with our respective high schools, we hope to have high schoolers adopt an elementary school library. Once adopted the students will work with the library’s staff to revitalize the library and provide the students it serves with a better learning environment. These efforts will culminate in a Saturday event (the AAPA Games) during which the elementary and high school students and their families will share in a day of fun and fellowship.