News, sports and entertainment for Richland Parish, La.

Holly Ridge students ready for ‘trip of a lifetime’

From “A Vest for Dayo” to “The Road that Brought Terry Home” and now a trip to Washington D.C., the journey continues for a group of Holly Ridge Students.
They will take this trip next Spring.
The “Vest for Dayo” was a community service project to purchase a protective ballistic vest for Richland Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9, Officer Dayo, in 2014 when they were second grade students in Peggy Duckworth’s class. The class, with the help of the community, raised and donated over $1,500 to the Richland Parish Sheriffs Office for the vest in James “Terry” Watson’s memory. Terry was a U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration special agent who was killed in 2013. He was an alumnus of Holly Ridge School.
The “The Road that Brought Terry Home” was a project completed when the students were in the third grade in 2015. Mrs. Duckworth taught them this year as well. The class sent an email to Louisiana Representative Charles “Bubba” Chaney requesting that he introduce a bill in the regular session of the Louisiana Legislature designating Hwy 183 in front of the school extending to a mile past Futch Road the James “Terry” Watson Memorial Highway.
The bill also included designating the bridge located on Louisiana Highway 2 between West Carroll Parish and Morehouse Parish as the “World War I and World War II Veterans Memorial Bridge” and designating the bridge located on Louisiana Highway 2 between West Carroll Parish and East Carroll Parish as the “Korean, Vietnam, and Desert Storm Veterans Memorial Bridge.”
The students followed the bill’s progress as it passed through the House and Senate and was signed into law as Act 183 by then Gov. Bobby Jindal. Louisiana Senators Francis Thompson and Mike Walsworth cosponsored the bill with Representative Chaney. U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham attended the ceremony when the James “Terry” Watson Memorial Highway was dedicated in 2016. He spoke with the students that day and invited them to come to Washington D.C.
Holly Ridge principal Mildred Davis and Richland Parish School Superintendent Sheldon Jones approved the trip.
These students are now sixth grade students and they along with the Holly Ridge BETA Club students from the fourth and fifth grades will make the trip. Many of the sixth grade students are also BETA Club members.
BETA is an organization for fourth through 12th grade students in the United States. Its purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.”
The BETA students are also involved in community service projects such as collecting comfort supplies for the residence of the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Home. The BETA Club sponsors are Amanda Morgan and Reagan Morgan. The Holly Ridge students, along with the chaperones, are all now busy with fund raising activities to cover the expenses for their. “Trip of a Lifetime” in addition to their many school activities and studies. Some of the upcoming activities are a Winter Formal Fundraiser, Fox’s Pizza Pig Out and Parent Night Out.
They have already completed a Johnny’s Pizza Pig Out, a cookie dough sale, chocolate bars sale and Family Picture Day.
Everyone is looking forward to an exciting trip as their journey continues.

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