The Million Father March 2013 is Dedicated to the Safety of All Children and to the Young Victims of Newtown, Connecticut

by August 15, 2013

John Travis HoltHere is an unusual reason for hosting the Million Father March 2013 at your school or in your community.  When fathers and men are at schools, children feel safer.  When fathers and men are at schools, teachers feel safer.  When fathers and men are at schools, students are better behaved.  When fathers and men are at schools, those who might want to do harm to children or disrupt education usually stay away.  Almost no incidents of violence ever occur or are reported on the first day at schools that participate in the Million Father March.

Keeping children safe in 2013, in and out of school, is not an easy matter.  Violence has become ingrained in some communities and violence can erupt anywhere in the United States, including school.  Unfortunately, staff at too many schools must expend valuable time thinking about and preparing for safety—time taken away from teaching and learning.  Although police can discourage and manage violence, The Black Star Project understands that aware parents and community members constitute the best, first-line defense to protect children in and around schools—especially fathers whose presence at schools support positive learning environments.The Black Star Project is sponsoring the Million Father March 2013 on the first day of school in nearly 600 cities across America.  Its aim is to inspire fathers and families to be more effectively engaged with their children’s education.  One million fathers are expected to participate this year.  Since the inception of the Million Father March one decade ago, first-day attendance in Chicago rose from nearly 85 percent in 2004 to about 95 percent in 2011.

Participants in the Million Father March 2013 include fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, male caregivers, mentors and family friends.  On the first day of school:
·         Fathers are asked to accompany their children to school and to register to volunteer 10 hours per year at the school.
·         Elected officials are invited to visit schools to help them understand how to make better public policy and inspire them to fight for adequate funding.
·         Faith leaders are asked to pray around the schools for protection and to have their faith institution adopt schools.
·         Business leaders are asked to give fathers and other men at least two morning hours off, with pay, to take their children to school.
Keeping students safe in America is serious business, and none are better able to rise to this occasion than the fathers of the children who attend American schools.  The Black Star Project can help fathers establish and maintain safety patrols, create father booster clubs and help schools maintain effective learning environments.
Students will be inspired seeing their fathers and men at their school on the first day. And by participating, these fathers and men will be encouraged to support their children and to work with your school throughout the new school year.
Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their educational lives do better in school (earn better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college). Additionally, children whose fathers listen to and talk with them regularly, and are active in their lives, have fewer behavior problems.
For more information about the Million Father March, National Fathers Take Your Children to School Day, or establishing a Fathers Safe Passage Program, please call The Black Star Project at 773.285.9600 or email [email protected]  We welcome all men and women of every ethnicity and faith to be a part of the Million Father March 2013.
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