MOUNT VERNON – Fathers gathered around the entrance of their child’s school and children beamed with happiness as their dads got a chance to visit their school. Lincoln School, Mount Vernon Leadership Academy, Hamilton School, Cecil H. Parker School and Graham School held Dads Take Your Child to School Day on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
“I’ve been coming to this for many years,” said Robert Atkins, the father of seventh-grade student Ryan Atkins “It’s a great thing to bring your child to school, especially for fathers since we are hard working men and sometimes, we don’t have the time. I’m glad they recognize us on these days, and we can actually come out to spend a little quality time with them.”
Fathers lined up outside to take pictures with their children, meet some of their teachers and bring them into the school.
“It feels good to have him teach me new things and show him around the school,” said Kiona Cole, eighth-grade student at Lincoln School.
At MVLA, parents went to the Scholastic Book Fair in the gymnasium and purchased books with their children. They then went outside and listened to the marching band and played games with their children and other families..
“I think it’s very important,” said Barry Hunt, father of Gabriel Hunt, a fifth-grade student at Mount Vernon Leadership Academy. “We got to definitely keep the kids focused, definitely try to keep them out of trouble and keep them on the straight and narrow. And I think that positive reinforcement definitely works.”
Dozens of fathers came out to visit the school and make their children’s day.
“I’m a parent, so I have to be involved,” said Garfield Cameron, father of Jenaye Cameron, second-grade student at MVLA. “I’m here every day with her. I bring her to school in the morning, pick her up, get her ready, cook dinner and breakfast. It’s not a once in a while thing, it’s every day. Every father should be involved.”
Many of the fathers agreed that a student’s parents should be heavily involved in their children’s education. Scholars were happy to have their fathers show up and take a vested interest in their everyday lives.
“He helps me out when I’m sad, he’s very nice, he’s very patient and he always helps me with my art,” said Jenaye Cameron.
At Cecil H. Parker School, Will Smith’s song about being a father “Just the Two of Us” continuously played as fathers and father figures escorted their children to the school building. One father, a Mount Vernon firefighter, arrived with his son in a fire truck. There was a “Dads and Doughnuts” table at each entrance. The event was sponsored by the Parker PTA.
“Our scholars were excited to be with their dads to start their school day,” said Cecil H. Parker Principal Jacqueline Green.