Saturday, July 12, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by Alexis Dobbins with 0 comment

Take a Child to School Day/Million Father March - Help Your Child Succeed

Yes, We Rise| Take a child to school day/Million Father March“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents.”

The educational level of Black America has risen significantly over the past and from 1990 to 2013, the percentage of 25- to 29-year-olds who attained a bachelor's or higher degree increased from 26 to 40 percent for Whites, from 13 to 20 percent for Blacks, and from 8 to 16 percent for Hispanics.

Good-looking stats! But for a significant number of African-American children today, the term “unlived lives of the parents” might include a less-than-wonderful experience with what our elders referred to as “book learning”. Cultural biases, substandard-schools, the inability or lack of desire to acknowledge different learning styles and other factors have resulted in a distrust of the educational system for many people of color – especially males.

My graduate study focused on the impact of female-led households on the educational attainment of adolescent boys, and one weighted factor was the level of involvement demonstrated by the absentee father. Research has shown that children, particularly males, benefit from father-involvement in their school life. Of course, I’m not saying that academic achievement for young black men is limited by single-mother households. Absolutely not. Single mothers are raising scientists, professors, mathematicians, and the like every day and doing it well. When a father is also interested in academic achievement, however, children see academics as an important, shared value and are more inclined to want to succeed

Phillip Jackson, founder of the Black Star Project in Chicago, has invested more than 10 years of personal and organizational effort into the Take Your Child to School/Million Father March initiative. Launched in 2004, Jackson and the fellow organizers of the Million Father March encourage Black fathers, relatives, men, and significant male caregivers to take their children to their first day of school across the country and around the world.

Some of you may ask, exactly how much difference could one day make in the life of a child?

According to Jackson, “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.”

Don’t trip off of that ‘regular and substantial involvement’. It starts with one day. Some fathers may not grace the door of a school for the rest of the year; others may feel a little more comfortable about attending Parent’s Night or checking with a teacher at some point during that year. If all else fails, Dad will have made that one tangible demonstration of interest in his child’s academic life.

Do me a favor – drop me a note or a comment and let me know if you would be interested in being a part of the Million Father March in the Prince Georges County area. I think we can get enough fathers to participate in this initiative and show our children that school counts. Let’s get our children off to a great start this year!!


Post a Comment