KIPP Scholar Academy in South L.A. – in partnership with Fly Kicks For Kids and Thank My Barber – hosted a fall festival on Friday November 2, 2018 for middle school students. This is the fifth consecutive year that KIPP Scholar Academy hosted a festival of this kind, with the number of attendees increasing each year.
Students, instructors and volunteers gathered directly outside the school in the recreation area, with more than 300 people in attendance. In addition to engaging in a variety of games and other activities, students had the opportunity to get free haircuts from professional barbers through Thank My Barber, and 25 students from each grade level who best demonstrated KIPP Scholar’s values and exhibited excellent behavior throughout the school year received a brand-new pair of K-Swiss sneakers through a donation made by Fly Kicks For Kids.
Students also had the opportunity to interact with former NFL football player for the Los Angeles Rams, Deral Boykin throughout the event. “When I was growing up, the love and support I received from my family, teachers, coaches, and community-based organizations similar to Fly Kicks For Kids had a profound impact on me,” said Boykin, the Co-founder of Fly Kicks For Kids. “I want young people today to know they can achieve anything they set their mind to and can overcome any obstacle if they surround themselves with the right kind of support.”
Major Williams, Fly Kicks For Kids Co-Founder added, “One of my highlights is actually seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces. It takes me back to when I was a kid and I got a fresh pair of kicks or a fresh new haircut and I felt so magical and like I could do anything and conquer the world. And so, to see other kids have that same expression and feeling gives me even more ammunition to keep doing what I’m doing and lets me know I’m doing the right thing. One of the main reasons I’m doing this is because I’m paying it forward – I had mentors in my life, so knowing that they gave me so much and knowing that I can partner with a great partner like Deral and pool our resources together made sense to do something for the kids now.”
Fly Kicks For Kids is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and creating opportunities for youth. They have given away more than 500 pairs of shoes this year, with a goal of donating 1,000 pairs of shoes by the end of the year.
“We always value opportunities to partner with community-based organizations to create positive experiences for our students. The Fall Festival is a moment where we all come together as a school community to have fun, support our arts program, build students’ confidence, and deepen relationships with our South L.A. neighbors,” said Tiffany Moore, Founding Principal of KIPP Scholar Academy.
The event was well received by students. “It makes me feel good that our school has a fall festival because they are representing us.” said Elijah, an eighth-grade student at KIPP Scholar Academy.
He was excited to wear his limited-edition blue Air Jordan 1’s and received these shoes because he “earned the most scholar dollars by being a good example and role model.”