More than 300 parents and children took part in The Glynn Hines Back to School Fatherhood Initiative, held last Saturday at the McMillen Community Center. The event was hosted by the recently re-established Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males in order to get more fathers involved in the education of their children.
As part of the initiative, fathers or male mentors were asked to take a pledge, agreeing to take their children to school on Monday, Aug. 19 -- or on the first day of school -- and stay involved during the school year.
Many fathers were seen taking their children to school on Monday. The response was so positive that the Commission is calling on fathers and male mentors to take their children to school again on Tuesday, Sept. 10th.
"We put out a call to have fathers become more actively involved in the education of their children and they responded to our call," said Andre Patterson, chair of the Commission. "We can make a difference by making sure fathers are engaged."
The Back to School event – named in honor of the longtime 6th District City Councilman – included the giveaway of nearly 300 backpacks and supplies, free food and free haircuts.
The Fatherhood Initiative coincided with the Black Star Project's "Million Father March," a national movement to demonstrate a commitment to education, which took place in 600 cities nationwide on Aug. 19.
The Fort Wayne Commission on African American Males was officially re-established on June 27, 2013, after several years of inactivity. The Commission, which includes representatives from throughout the community, works to enhance the lives of Black males in all areas.