Field Report: By Eddie Griffin
Monday, August 27, 2007
The report from Paschal High School:
It looked more like Family Day Back to School, as parents rolled out in numbers, to take their little darlings back to school. Leading the way were the fathers.
The highly publicized Fathers March was first announced at a news conference reported in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (“Group campaigns to get fathers involved”, 08/25/07).
The Millions Fathers March was organized statewide as a Back-to-School Rally by UMOJA, a mentoring group allied throughout the school systems. To rally community to support the initiative, UMOJA issued a challenge to fathers in particular, to accompany their child back to school on Opening Day.
"We went around the whole city of Fort Worth passing out fliers," said UMOJA President Johnny Muhammad.
The event has been reported over the airways and across church pulpits. So far, the field reports show good turn-outs, especially among local African-American men.
PLEASE SHARE YOU DAY ONE OF SCHOOL EXPERIENCE WITH US.
Contact Eddie Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
We are thankful to UMOJA for issuing the challenge to fathers to accompany their children back to school on the first day. We are thankful to the hundreds of fathers and mothers who responded. The reports of the first day of school were very encouraging.
[Read “Parents tag along for first day” by Diane Smith, Star-Telegram]
Besides the fathers and mothers that we can always depend on to support their children’s education, there were “new” crop of fathers coming to school this year with their children. Here is a spot check of what we found.
Many of the fathers who participated in the Back-to-School March were alerted by radio about the campaign, heard about it in church, or read about it in the newspapers. Fathers estranged from their spouses responded. Absentee dads, live-in boyfriends, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, other male relatives and role model and surrogates and mentors- however imperfect the relationship, all stepped up to the plate. Many actually took time off from work.
At last, most everyone did their part in making the first day of school in Tarrant County a wonderful day. More surprising, however, was the response from parents to become more involved with their children’s education through the PTA and PTO.
Somewhere, however, in the throng of back-to-schoolers, were children with no one to accompany them. I wonder how they might have felt and what possibly could their parents and guardians be feeling.
These are the cases to watch for signs of alienation.