Our Opinion: Rally dads – and other role models – to greet students on first day of class

August 23rd, 2015 8:21 am

Would it be a good idea …

… for fathers and other male role models to gather at area schools on the first day of classes, welcoming students?

Greeters participated in pep rally-like shows of support for education this month at schools in Delray Beach, Florida, and Harrisburg. Among the estimated 85 participants in the state’s capital were the president of Harrisburg Area Community College and the city’s police chief, according to an online report. “We wanted the students to feel like rock stars,” one participant told PennLive.com.

Marking the start of a new school year, these brief morning activities, which apparently originated out of a movement called the “Million Father March,” typically involve a lot of high-fiving, fist-bumping and encouraging words. The refrain most commonly overheard: “Have a good year!”

Organizers aim to provide young people with positive male role models.

But for students, the school-entry events also reinforce the notion that education matters. Moreover, adults are rooting for them to succeed.

Who knows, a hallway of hooting education boosters might help to motivate administrators and teachers, too.

Should men in Northeastern Pennsylvania rally behind education, organizing first-day activities in districts from the Abingtons to Hazleton? Why not broaden the activity to include all parents and caregivers – including moms, grandmothers and others?

Would the first-day fuss inspire area students? Might certain dads and other adults who participate then recognize they can be school advocates beyond Day 1, serving on school committees, educational foundations and parent-teacher groups?

Or does all this rah-rah stuff make you a stronger fan of homeschooling?

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