Thousands of fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other male role models were asked to take their children to school Wednesday morning as part of a statewide effort to promote men being an active presence in students lives, and they answered that call loud and clear.
Across Palm Beach County, fathers and positive male figures accompanied students to campus for “Dads Take Your Child to School Day,” an initiative sponsored by the Florida Department of Education with the intent that “with fathers involved in education, Florida students have the potential to perform better in the classroom and in life.”
At Forest Hill Elementary School, Principal Scott McNichols was waiting with a decorated selfie board, ready to take pictures with visiting dads. At Hagen Road Elementary School, Dunkin’ Donuts and hot coffee were ready for the gentlemen as they joined the students in the cafeteria for an early breakfast.
The West Palm Beach Police Department stole the show at Belvedere Elementary School, answering the call to come and escort students who did not have a father or male role model available to accompany them.
“Three hundred dads showed up to read with their children in Grades 3-5,” said Dr. Vikaash Moosai, Assistant Principal at Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary School. Many schools, like C.O. Taylor/Kirklane, took advantage of fathers being on campus to promote the importance of reading, building relationships with their child, and emphasizing being present in their child’s education.
Role models from across the state participated in the event, using the hashtag #FLDadsAtSchoolDay on social media to contribute their photos from the morning.
“It was really crowded, so overall, I think it was a huge success,” said Thomas Hallowell, whose daughter attends Hagen Road Elementary.