Dads and father figures from the community gave students at Broward Elementary School in Tampa a very special welcome for the first day of school.
“We invite our fathers and our positive male figures out to welcome back our scholars. We launched it last year, and we wanted to have a very powerful experience this year as well,” said Broward Elementary Counselor Rennex Franklin.
It’s the school’s second year for the Million Father March. The guys cheered, clapped and gave students high-fives as they returned to kick-off the school year.
“We just wanted to let them know that it’s safe, it’s okay, and most importantly that we missed them so much and we welcome them back,” said Angela Livingston, Broward Elementary Principal.
“I’m happy to see their faces light up, and the smiles and the high fives, and they feel just welcomed back to the community we’ve established at Broward. It’s a true family feel,” said Franklin.
Broward dads were also encouraged to bring their kids to school, help them grab free breakfast, and walk them to their classrooms.
“He said he’s nervous. I’m nervous, that’s why I wanted to come see it with him. Make sure he’s okay,” said father Maceo Walker. Walker dropped off his son, Kingston Walker, for the first day of Kindergarten.
Father James Robinson, Sr. walked his son, James Robinson, Jr. to his Pre-Kindergarten classroom.
“I had to reaffirm, it’s okay, I’ll bring you to school and pick you up every day. He was excited about that,” said Robinson. “Some kids don’t have their dads to be able to bring them to school. With me, I had my dad bring me to school every day, my mom too. I wanted to make sure it’s important that I’m always there for him, and all of my other kids. I bring them to school every day and pick them up every day,” Robinson said.
Broward is one of our district’s Achievement Schools, a new initiative to help high-needs students by providing added support and resources.
“It’s little opportunities like this, just a few minutes of your time are awesome ways you can be involved even more in your child’s education,” said Principal Livingston.
Organizers believe the presence of positive male role models helps set up the students for success. The dads also stopped into classrooms to talk with students.
“We want to definitely showcase that there is a connection between the community and home, but also show that the male presence is extremely powerful when you’re trying to encourage students to ‘Seize that A’ is our theme for the school year,” said Franklin.
“I know he’s excited, because he’ll be able to meet new people, new kids, and learn stuff,” said Robinson.
“Go Broward! It’s going to be the best year ever,” cheered Principal Livingston.
The school hopes to launch an All Pro Dads chapter at Broward this year.
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