Today, I read an article about an organization called The Black Star Project that is sponsoring the Million Father March 2008 on the first day of school in nearly 300 cities. Their goal is to encourage fathers to take an active role in their children’s education.
At first I was skeptical about this idea because I have grown weary of Million Marches. They generate much hype, but rarely bear any lasting fruit. However, I do support fathers being more involved with schools. Our schools are suffering because dads have not taken the lead in their children’s education. Class moms are abundant, but how many class dads do you see? Mothers have done their part to make sure that children have a quality education – everything from serving on PTAs to chaperoning field trips. It’s time for dads to take a stand.
Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their education perform better, enjoy school more, and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. Isn’t an academically successful, well-adjusted, well-behaved child worth a few hours in the classroom?
I don’t claim to be perfect, but I have taken my daughter to every first day of school (okay, she’s only had two so far). Throughout the year, I schedule time to be a Mystery Reader, eat lunch with her, and attend other school functions. I do the same for my son at his pre-school. Like many dads, work prevents me from being as involved as I would like to be. I plan to do more this year, though.
I challenge every father to take the first step by showing up on the first day of school. Your child will thank you. I’ll see you in the carpool line.
Join the conversation: Do you take your kids to school on the first day?