In today's world, many parents try and prepare their children to succeed as early as possible. To help in that effort, the Children's Coalition of Northeast Louisiana formed the Early Head Start program. The coalition hosts this year's Dragon Boat Festival to raise money for that program. The festival takes place on Bayou Desiard, at the corner of Loop Road and Forsythe Avenue.
"This is a huge part of our community outreach for Early Head Start. We wanted to get the word out about what we're doing and how Early Head Start is in service to the community," says President Lynn Clark. "One of the thing we are doing is all of the proceeds go into the Head Start budget, but more importantly, the event is going to push out information.
The Early Head Start program helps prepare children ages 0-5 for placement in schools across the area.
This year's festival features food and drink as in years past, but also includes new additions such as a health fair. The Strauss Youth Academy for the Arts begins the festivities at noon.
Twenty teams of 21 members each are registered for the race, which begins at 1 p.m. Clark urges spectators to find parking arrangements early. For more information, call 323-8775.