It's easy to be cynical about absentee fathers, but watching men come to school with their kids Monday morning was inspiring.
|Jamison Smith with nephew and son|
"You have to be in a child's life, especially in school," said Rahim Nash, who brought his 9-year-old son Arkivius to Allenbrook Elementary. Nash said his own father never showed up at school, but he wants things to different for his son.
"Both parents need to be involved," agreed Michael Strong, who brought 7-year-old Donovon even though he knew he'd have to rush to get to work across town.
The "Million Father March" movement focuses on low-income minority communities, where dads are more likely to be missing from the family and academic struggles are endemic. Project LIFT, which made a big push to get men into schools on Monday, serves that kind of community.
But I'm willing to bet schools from Cornelius to Ballantyne would like to see more dads in schools. Women still tend to take the lead role in parenting and school volunteer work, regardless of race or income. And whether we like it or not, that means men get extra attention from the kids when they show up to have lunch or read with a student. A male presence at school sends a message -- and it's a very different one than kids get from pop culture.
It can be tough for working parents, male or female, to break away during school hours. But think of it this way: Where else can you count on being looked up to, literally and figuratively?
|Anthony Gardner documents his daughter's first day|