Archived Story

Fresh start awaits students

Published 5:09pm Tuesday, August 20, 2013

With any luck, the first day of school at S.W. Snowden Elementary School will be a fresh start for more than just the staff and students. Men have been invited to volunteer their time at the school.

Principal Debra Kinsey, organizer of the event, asked that parents speak to their employers about taking two hours off from work.

The volunteer campaign is called the Million Father March, but it is open to any man willing to become a role model to local students.

The Black Star Project started the nationwide event, and this will be the first year a Beaufort County school takes part. According to the organization, one of the best ways to improve the academic performance of students is to get fathers and families to participate in the lives and education of their children.

Research shows that students with fathers who take active roles in their education get better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. A male presence also curbs behavioral problems, according to the organization.

Kinsey is hoping to find at least 10 willing participants. Here’s hoping that number triples. Here’s hoping that by this time next year, a man volunteering in local schools is not a novelty, but a common occurrence. The Million Father March campaign may be at Snowden, but every school in the county accepts volunteers. The sign-up process is quick and painless. It usually involves a background check.

There are no prequisites to volunteer and no rules governing what volunteers have to do. You do not have to be a great book reader or know all of the rules of soccer. You don’t have to help with math homework. You just have to be there. Make a commitment to be there for a child who needs you. It will be the best investment you ever made.

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