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August 16, 2011 > Million Father March

Million Father March

By Simon Wong

In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of male support, involvement and positive role models in the education of the young, fathers and men are being asked to take the Million Father March Pledge, which is managed by the Black Star Project.

Fathers are encouraged to take their children to their first day of school and to actively participate in the educational and social development of their children throughout the year. The first day of school for Hayward Unified School District is August 23, 2011.

Established in 2004, this event might have targeted Black and Latino men (fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, older brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family) but, today, men and women of all nationalities and religions are asked to take their children to their first day of school around the world. The Million Father March takes place from the homes of children to their schools and marks the start of a year-long commitment to children educationally, socially, financially, emotionally and spiritually.

According to the Parent Institute, students at schools with strong relationships with parents, had 50 percent better reading skills and 40 percent higher math test scores than their counterparts at educational institutions without such effective outreach to parents. Moreover, children, who have adults taking an active interest in their education, are less likely to be suspended, expelled, arrested, behave violently, take drugs, alcohol or engage in premature sex.

Sound family structures are born of stable domestic environments and produce more academically proficient and socially adjusted children who, in turn, can contribute positively to their communities.

The Black Star Project also encourages the participation and support of public and private pre-schools, nursery, elementary and high schools, parochial and religious schools, school districts and school boards, colleges and universities, community organizations, parent associations, faith-based organizations, public agencies, elected officials, chambers of commerce and businesses.

The Million Father March takes place nationwide in more than 500 cities. Good, regular attendance figures not only contribute to academic attainment but determine how much funding a school district receives.

For more information, contact William McGee at (510) 784-2600, email MFM2011@husd.us and visit www.husd.k12.ca.us/mfm2011 and www.blackstarproject.org.


Million Father March Pledge

* I will take my children or a child to school and I will be at school on the first day to encourage all children to do their best every day at school.
* I am responsible for the education of my child.
* I will volunteer at my child's school three times this school year.
* I will pick up my child's progress report or grade report when required.
* I will meet with my child's teachers at least twice this year and support them in educating my child.
* I will mentor my child or a child and I will teach children the value of education and family as well as the value of life.
* I will work with my child's mother or guardian to achieve the best academic and social outcomes for my child even if I do not live with my child.

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