Eight years ago, 10 men from Chicago, IL began a movement known as the Million Father March. Black Star Project’s initiative began as a way to get fathers more involved in their child’s education, influence stronger family bonds and produce better students. Since its beginning in 2004, the project has spread to over 800 cities nationwide as well as a few overseas in Tamale, Ghana and London, England where fathers are asked to walk their child to school on the first day and commit to being actively involved throughout the school year. Although the initiative was created for Black men, men and women of all races are encouraged to participate.
One Jacksonville, Fl father David Hurst walked his son, Charlie, to school on his first day on August 20. Hurst says, “Any opportunity to be with him is good. Whether its the first day or the twentieth day.”
Studies from the National Fatherhood Initiative indicate that children whose fathers are involved in their social development and education have higher test scores, grade point averages and graduation rates from high school to name a few. Lower rates of arrest, violent behavior, drug and alcohol use have also been shown.
“The more involved you are the better I think it is,” says Hurst.
Find out more about the initiative on the Black Star Project’s website and see how you can set up a march in your community.
BMWK, why do you feel it’s important for parents to be a part of their child’s first day of school? What are some of your favorite experiences during your child’s first day?