Editorial: Commitment to children from dads

Aug. 30, 2014 @ 11:45 PM

In hundreds of communities across the country, fathers shared the first day of school with their kids.

Many were part of the Million Father March, an effort by the Black Star Project that began in 2004. It since has been an opportunity for fathers to express their commitment to the education of their children.

In less than three weeks, another event of similar meaning takes place on Dads Take Your Child To School Day. It is an event that began in the state of New York, inspired by the Black Star Project’s Million Father March, and in 2009 was set up to include all ethnicities.

This year’s annual DTYCTS happens two weeks from Tuesday, on Sept. 16.

We encourage participation throughout the Tri-County region. Whether our fathers are formally involved with the program or not, the exercise can have an impact.

Parents need to be involved in their children’s education. It is about more than showing up in the audience for extra-curricular activities or any other singular acts.

Fathers and mothers can help their children greatly by simply being engaged and supportive. They can know what happens day to day, in and out of the classroom. And their expressions will be a way for a child to see both now and later in life that it wasn’t just lip service.

Academics, behavior and social skills are enhanced when parents are involved. While it is not impossible for achievements and the highest success without parents’ engagement, students gain a distinguishable advantage when fathers and mothers are involved. And the sense of community we all feel around schools is provided a much stronger foundation.

How government spends — or doesn’t spend — money on education matters. Whether children and their parents have options for school matters.

But neither matters more than parents interacting with schools and their children. That is the foundation upon which all other variables will rise or fall.

Dads, take your children to school Sept. 16. And, even better, show the commitment each day.