Ron Leonard, president of the Black Educators Caucus of Palm Beach County, Florida, suggests something simple for fathers: take your kids to school. As in, physically take your kids to school. “We’re concerned with the apathy of black fathers in Palm Beach County,” says Leonard. “Studies show that if fathers get involved in schools, a lot of the misbehaving won’t happen.”
This year, Palm Beach County is participating in the “Million Father March,” an initiative that urges fathers and grandfathers to take their kids to school. And this isn’t just a Florida thing. Schools around the country are getting in on it – but it’s hard to find a hard number on how many cities and fathers will participate. Some articles say 600 cities are participating. Some say 800. Most organizers think that 2011 – the 7th year the program has been around – was the first year that one million fathers will have participated (by the time the first day of school has happened across the country).
Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project, which organizes the Million Father March, says it best: “Studies that show that when fathers are involved with their children, the children get better grades, have higher test scores, have better attendance, are more likely to graduate, are more likely to enter a college.” Nailed it!
If your kid hasn’t started school yet, figure out if your city’s participating in the Million Father March – and if it’s not, don’t let that stop you from taking your kid to his first day of school. Ya dig?