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Million Father March – A Push To Bring Dads Into Kids’ School Lives

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 2, 2007

Raleigh: Melvin McNeill, speaks with Shani Galloway, a teacher at Sparc Academy as his daughters look for their desks. McNeill walked his daughters to school as part of the Million Father March.
Jeffery A. Camarati/Special to The Christian Science Monitor


Raleigh, N.C. – It’s Monday morning, and Bryan Harris is walking his three daughters down a path he hasn’t traveled before. This year, he’s broken free of his long hours as a furniture deliveryman to be here on the first day of school, following his three daughters up the cement steps and grass-lined walkway to their classrooms at SPARC Academy, a K-8 charter school here. His two youngest, second-grader Shirley and third-grader Jessica, glance back at him with smiles. His fifth-grader, Ceosa, walks with her head held high.

“I wanted them to know I support what they’re doing,” he says.

Around the country, many African-American men are doing the same. They’re part of a national movement called the Million Father March that encourages people of all races, but particularly black men, to be active in children’s educational lives.

Created four years ago, the Million Father March is sponsored by The Black Star Project, a Chicago group working to build strong students, encourage parental involvement, and improve life in African-American and Latino communities. The goal is to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap, says Black Star Project founder and director Phillip Jackson. One key, he believes, is the commitment of dads.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, High-Stakes Testing, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, The Black Star Project, Trinity River Vote, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

‘Million Father March’ Draws Dads To First Day Of School In West Memphis

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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Aug 20, 2007 03:28 PM

Monday was the first day of classes for students in West Memphis, and accompanying many children returning to school were familiar figures: their dads.

The organization “Million Father March” urged dads to take their children to school.

With his video camera in hand, Donald Boyd walked his four boys into Maddux Elementary.

“I got my two older boys and my first one starting in kindergarten today,” he said, pointing out his kids. “This one’s going into the sixth, and this one into the fifth.”

For the Boyd home, it was a big day. Boyd said he hoped he was setting a good example for his children.

“If they see me doing it, they try harder in school, to see what I gotta do to take care of them,” he said.

Boyd’s presence inspired his sons, including Dontarious, the kindergartner.

“I’m gonna do good on my grades and stuff,” he said.

The event was organized by Kareem Ali, who stood out in front of the school and greeted parents and students. Ali’s goal: create an honor guard of positive men supporting kids at school.

“Research shows that when fathers are actively involved in their child’s lives, that child earns better grades, gets better test scores, and is more likely to graduate from high school,” he said.

But fathers need to start when their kids are young, like Madison Nicole Peoples, who started her first day of kindergarten with her dad.

“It’s special to me because I love this school, but I haven’t come here before,” she said.

Kelvin Peoples, Madison’s father, drove four hours across the state from Fayetteville to there for her first day..

“First day of school…first day of kindergarten…(I) can’t miss that,” he said.

The Million Father March is also planning “lunch with Dad days” at schools this year.

Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, Million Father March, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Million Father March – “Fathers Take Your Children to School Day”

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, August 18, 2007

200 Cities Could Participate in the Largest, Organized
Back-to-School Effort in U.S. History

The Million Father March has grown out of recognition of the power of male involvement in the education of Black students. A father who actively participates in the educational and social development life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable. A 2004 summary study by The Parent Institute showed that at schools where teachers reported high levels of outreach to parents, reading scores grew at a rate 50 percent higher, and math tests scores 40 percent higher, than in schools where teachers reported low levels of outreach. Statistics from the National Fatherhood Initiative support these findings and show that when fathers and men are regularly and substantially involved in the education and social development of children, children have higher standardized test scores, higher grade point averages, higher attendance rates and higher graduation rates from high school. Additionally, they have lower rates of suspension, expulsion, arrest, fewer incidents of violent behavior, and they are less likely to use drugs, alcohol or engage in premature sex.

MFM at Williams

While there is no magic bullet to solving all of the problems that we face in education, getting fathers involved is a large step in the right direction. When fathers speak with and listen to their children regularly and are active in their lives, they make up part of a good parent team and are critical to strong family structures. Strong family structures produce more centered, academically proficient and socially developed children who are a valuable asset to their communities. Better parents produce better communities, better schools and better students!

The Million Father March is an opportunity for Black men to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children on the first day of school and throughout the school year. On the first day of school each year since the March began in 2004, Black fathers, relatives, men, and significant male caregivers are asked to take their children to their first day of school across the country and around the world. Fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family will participate in the event. While this event was created for Black men, men and women of all races, nationalities and faith backgrounds are also encouraged to take children to school on this first day. The BlackêStar Project also asks elementary and high schools; school districts and school boards; colleges and universities; pre-schools, nursery schools, and Headstarts; public, private, parochial and religious schools; urban, suburban and rural schools to participate in this event. Additionally, we recruit the support of local school councils, community organizations, parent associations, faith-based organizations, government agencies, elected officials, chambers of commerce and businesses should support and participate in the Million Father March.

The Black Star Project’s Million Father March takes place from the homes of children to their schools with fathers and men accompanying their children and aims to post Black men near the front door at schools with sizeable Black student populations to create an honor guard of strong, positive men supporting all children at that school. The Million Father March is the beginning of a year-long commitment of men to children educationally, socially, financially, emotionally and spiritually. For this reason, the Million Father March is a seminal event for communities across the world. While we coordinate the March and our Chicago office serves as its headquarters, the March takes place across the country, with city coordinators overseeing the event in each participating city.

Bud Biliken Parade

In 2005, with the generous support of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, the second annual Million Father March recruited the support of eighty-three cities nationwide, including one international city: Auckland, New Zealand. This participation of these nearly 100 cities led to an estimated participation of 200,000 men, women and children in the March to the first day of school to show their commitment to the education of our children. In addition, all 167 school districts in Connecticut were informed about the “Fathers Take Your Children to School Day” as an extension of the Million Father March and on September 29, 2005, many schools in Connecticut reported significant numbers of fathers and men who brought their children to school. In Chicago alone, between 25,000 and 35,000 fathers participated in the Million Father March 2005 and contributed to a record 92% first day attendance for Chicago Public Schools. Attention to this figure, which determines the amount of funding received by CPS from the federal government for the school year, is important in securing the funding and programming necessary for students most affected by the racial academic achievement gap. Since the Million Father March was established in 2004, the first day attendance has increased 3%, providing a total of nearly $100,000,000 in additional funding over two school years for the Chicago Public Schools.

Press Conference Arne Duncan

Most recently, we coordinated the Million Father March 2006 in 125 cities nationwide as well as in two international cities: Tamale, Ghana and London, England. The March included the participation of nearly 315,000 men, women and children, including between 30,000 and 40,000 in Chicago alone.

Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, Million Father March, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Mayor Tom Leppert to Recognize Million Father March 2007

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, August 14, 2007

THOMAS C. LEPPERT
MAYOR

CITY OF DALLAS

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release:
Mayor’s Office: 214.670.4054
August 14, 2007

Mayor Leppert to Recognize
Million Father March 2007

Dallas Area Fathers Marching for Educational Excellence and Stressing Importance of Father’s Role in Children’s Lives

WHAT: Special Recognition

WHEN: Wednesday, August 15th at 9:00 A.M.

WHERE: Council Briefing Room (6ES), Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla St., Dallas TX 75201

WHO: Mayor Tom Leppert
Honorable Members of Dallas City Council
Joe Tave, Organizer of Dallas/FW Million Father March

MORE: See attached press release.

For Immediate Release
Contact: DFW Million Father March
August 14, 2007
Joe Tave, Organizer
214-339-4799, 469-951-8013
JoeLTave@prodigy.net

Ft. Worth Million Father March
Johnny Muhammad, Coordinator
817-773-3121

One Million Black Fathers Expected to Lead the 2007 March for Excellence in Education for American Schools

200 Cities Could Participate in the Largest, Organized
Back-to-School Effort in U.S. History

(Dallas, TX) – Like an army on its way to battle, hundreds of thousands of Black men will wake their children, make them breakfast, check their book bags, and then take them to school on the first day of school this fall school year. This scene will be played out at thousands of schools across America and other parts of the world. Last year, about 300,000 men from 127 cities participated in the Million Father March 2006. This year, an estimated 500,000 men from 200 cities are expected to participate. The Million Father March 2007 provides an escort of safety, support and encouragement to children of all ages.

“Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their educational lives earn better grades, get better test scores, enjoy school more / and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college,” says Phillip Jackson, executive director of The Black Star Project, a Chicago-based non-profit leading the yearly Million Father March initiative.

Additionally, children have fewer behavior problems when fathers listen to and talk with them regularly and are active in their lives. A good father is part of a good parent team and is critical to creating a strong family structure. Strong family structures produce children who are more academically proficient, socially developed and self-assured. Such children become adults who are valuable assets to their communities.

“This is an exciting, productive and beneficial project for children, families, schools and the DFW region,” says Joe Tave, organizer of the DFW March. “Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert wholeheartedly supports the project which is in line with his focus on better schools and education platform.”

“Better parents produce better communities, better schools, and better students with higher academic achievements,” says Jackson.

Participants in the event include fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family. Although this event is sponsored by Black men, women and men of all races are also encouraged to take their children to school on their first day.

Last year, from New Haven, Connecticut, to Hilo, Hawaii, fathers stepped up to take part in the Million Father March 2006. Each city tailored the March to meet their needs. Elected officials, dignitaries, celebrities, and print and radio media reps turned out in support of fathers on the first day of school.

“The Board of Directors of the National Council on Educating Black Children enthusiastically supports the yearly Million Father’s March, and encourages every school district superintendent and school board member to play a significant role in the success of this March,” says Diana Daniels, president. “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” Daniels says.

Since schools across America and the world start the year on different days and months, the March will be a rolling event that takes place on the first day of this school year in cities, villages, and towns between August 7, 2007, and October 13, 2007. Dallas ISD and all Texas Public schools begin classes on Monday, August 27, 2007.

The 2007 Million Father March is sponsored in part by The Black Star Project and the DFW Million Father March Project. For more information, visit http://www.blackstarproject.org.

2007 Million Father March
Facts and Effectiveness

* A father who actively participates in the educational and social development life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable.

* Research shows that children whose fathers take active roles in their educational lives earn better grades, get better test scores, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

* Children have fewer behavior problems when fathers listen to and speak with them regularly and are active in their lives.

* A good father is part of a good parent team and is critical to strong family structures.

* Strong family structures produce children who are more centered, academically proficient and socially developed and are a valuable asset to their communities.

* Better parents produce better communities, better schools and better students.

* Fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, step-fathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family can participate in the Million Father March.

* While this event is sponsored by Black men, women and men of all races and faith backgrounds are encouraged to take children to school on their first day of school.

* More then 200 cities are expected to participate in the Million Father March 2007.

* 2007 is the fourth year for the Million Father March.

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Posted in African American, Black, Dallas ISD, Dallas Politics, DISD, Education, Mayor Tom Leppert, Million Father March, Politics, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

The Million Father March 2007

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, August 4, 2007

 

· A father who actively participates in the educational and social development life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable.

· Research shows that children whose fathers take active roles in their educational lives earn better grades, get better test scores, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

· Additionally, children have fewer behavior problems when fathers speak and listen to their children regularly and are active in their lives.

· A good father is part of a good parent team and is critical to strong family structures.

· Strong family structures produce children who are more centered, academically proficient and socially developed and are a valuable asset to their communities.

· Better parents produce better communities, better schools and better students.

· Fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, step-fathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family can participate in The Million Father March.

· While this event is sponsored by Black men, women and men of all races and faith backgrounds are encouraged to take children to school on their first day of school.

· 200 cities are expected to participate in the Million Father March.

· 2007 is the forth year for the Million Father March.

Tags: Black Families · African American Issues · Education

Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas Education, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, Million Father March, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Dallas Black Blog Endorses Million Father March

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, July 24, 2007

by Joe Tave – 214-339-4799 – Dallas Organizer

Folks, Project organization is off and running. Efforts to get area ISD’s, interest groups, churches, Pastors groups, businesses, social groups, cities etc. involved have commenced.

Media blitz to take place shortly. If you will sign on as a supporter, endorser, organizer or underwriter, please contact me.”

This Project is more than worthwhile/needed. If you doubt it or just don’t care, trade places with me in my classroom just one day. I get cursed, threatened with physical violence, and more, just trying to teach. Often the school experience is negatively enhanced when mostly mothers, some times fathers, give to you the same prescription that the child gave. Seldom to never do fathers/grandfathers show, but when they do, they confront you aggressively angry, based on lack of facts or misinformation. Add to this fact that male students do not see or have adequate numbers of Black and Brown male teachers as role models, we don’t have a “social and educational crisis”, we are faced with a ” social and educational holocaust “.

This is not my project. I received information about “The Black Star Project”, based in Chicago, dared to ask what can I do make a similar difference in my city, and the “Million Father March” project was availed. The Project is well organized and laid out to a “t”, Mr. Jackson and his staffers, so those of you who care and will help, need but to talk-up and promote the effort.

Think about it. One father/grandfather taking his son/daughter to school 8/27, just might mean one less school discipline problem, one less drop-out, one less potential gang member, or criminal on the streets or one less teen pregnancy. 214.339.4799. Joe

(DBB Note: Joe Tave is to be commended for his volunteer efforts to support this very worthwhile community project.)

Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas Black Blog, Dallas Education, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education Reform, Million Father March, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

Black Men Will Again Lead the Nation Back to School this Fall

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, July 22, 2007

Help Organize the Million Father March 2007 in Your City

This fall Black men will again lead the nation’s children back to school. We want 500,000 men in 200 cities to take their children to school this first fall school day of 2007. Last year, we had as many as 300,000 people in 127 cities who participated in the March. This event is open to men and women of all races and ethnicities, and we ask every parent or male caregiver to be with their children on this most important first day of school.

MFM

We need you to volunteer as the Million Father March 2007 Organizer in your city. The 2007 March will not take much work and you will get a huge return on time invested. We will give you all the help you need to manage a successful 2007 black-to-school March. Please pass this email on to men and women across the country so that we can have the greatest March ever on the first day of school this fall!

The Million Father March is the beginning of male involvement every school year in the lives of our children and students. The Black Star Project will share additional ways and activities throughout the year in which men can be involved with their children’s education. When fathers and other male caregivers are involved in the lives of children, their children learn better and have fewer social and discipline problems.

Please email us at blackstar1000@ameritech.net with your name, your email address, and your city/state if you wish to manage this event in your city. Please also let us know if you want more information about the March or The Black Star Project. Some cities might have more than one organizer.

To make your 2007 March a big success, you need to begin organizing now. The March will be an important event for your children and your city. For more information, please visit our website at www.blackstarproject.org or call 773-285-9600. ____________________________________________________

“I have been waiting and preparing for a time such as this. Our combined voices must be heard, and we can not stop until every Black man feels the power within himself to make a positive difference in the lives of our children, themselves, and our communities. We can do this.”

 

-Elder Felix L. Graham,
Million Father March Organizer, 2006

Indianapolis, Indiana

Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Dallas ISD, DISD, Education, Education Reform, Million Father March, Race, The Black Star Project, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »