Young people have a lot to teach us.

They are learning about a world we never dreamed of and aspire to change that world in new ways.

To demonstrate their vision, students from five local schools will host the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on the field at Bayou Lacombe Middle School, 27527 St. Joseph St., Lacombe.

Students from Bayou Lacombe Middle, Mayfield Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Monteleone Junior and Lakeshore High School will present the festival as part of Global Youth Service Day. Booths will be set up to provide fun and games, as well as art and educational opportunities. Many of the activities also will benefit local nonprofit organizations. Admission is free.

An organic farmers market will feature the sale of heirloom plants from Bayou Lacombe Middle School’s garden program, as well as herbal soaps, pestos, salsa, strawberry pepper jelly, hummus, herb-infused oils and vinegars.

The school recently funded the purchase of a dehydrator through, according to the project leader, Rebekah Ellis. Students will sell their dehydrated herbs and have samples of the okra and kale chips they have been making.

The festival is interactive, and the community is invited to bring items to recycle, sign up to get involved with Keep Lacombe Beautiful, buy snacks to help end world hunger, and donate clothes and nonperishable food items. Lakeshore High students will present Trash to Treasure and show how to turn recycled items into art.

Visitors also can bring gloves to work with students in the Garden Club who will be planting in the bird and butterfly garden. There will be walking tours of the gardens and greenhouses, and the opportunity to purchase hand-painted bird houses and garden kits.

Other booths include an Earth Day game booth, presented by Monteleone Middle School, and face painting with creative inspiration from local artist Mia Kaplan.

Mayfield Elementary students have plans to sell snacks to benefit animal shelters. St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter will be on-site with adoptable pets.

Mayfield also will hold a Bake Sale for World Hunger to help purchase livestock to go to impoverished villages.

Keep Lacombe Beautiful and Chahta-Ima Elementary students will be collecting donations of clothing for Goodwill, and nonperishable food donations for the Samaritan Center in Mandeville and Mount Olive Feeding Ministry in Slidell.

Students will also demonstrate how to use worms to turn egg shells, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps and oak leaves into usable compost.

With so much to teach and share, this annual festival has developed into an important way for the youths to demonstrate their knowledge.

To learn more about the Lacombe festival, contact Ellis at (985) 882-5416 or email

Sharon Edwards is community news editor of The New Orleans Advocate.